Monday, 20 Sep 2021

Afghanistan: Security officer killed and three others injured after shots fired at Kabul airport

An Afghan security officer has been killed after shots were fired at one of the gates at Kabul’s airport.

Shots were fired near Hamid Karzai International Airport’s north gate – where chaotic scenes resulted in the deaths of seven Afghanis on Saturday – the German military said.

It remains unclear who opened fire and the circumstances of the incident, which occurred at around 6.45am local time.

The German Bundeswehr said in a tweet that a member of the Afghan security force was killed and three others were wounded by “unknown attackers”.

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All Bundeswehr soldiers remained uninjured, it added.

UK armed forces minister James Heappey said British forces and nationals were not involved and the clash happened in an area of the airport where they are not located.

NATO, the US military or the Taliban has yet to acknowledge the shooting.

In the last week, thousands have been attempting to leave Afghanistan, with footage showing people attempting to board a moving American military plane that was taking off.

At least seven people died that day, in addition to the seven killed over the weekend.

The Taliban has blamed the scenes at the airport on the US military, saying there’s no need for Afghans to fear its fighters, even though they shoot into the air and beat people with batons as they try to control the crowds outside the perimeter.

The Taliban has pledged an amnesty to those who worked with the US, NATO and the toppled government, but many Afghans still fear revenge attacks.

There have been reports of Taliban members searching for people who supported foreign troops over the last 20 years.

The Afghan central government’s security forces largely collapsed or fled during the Taliban advance on Kabul, but some members of the armed forces remain stationed at Kabul airport, assisting western countries in the evacuation process.

Speaking to Sky News on Monday, Mr Heappey said the Royal Air Force has so far extracted 1,821 people from Kabul, and that “the flow remains good”.

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He added that another nine flights are expected over the coming 24 hours.

Mr Heappey also appeared to confirm reports that the evacuation programme has been extended to some in civil society in the country, but says we “won’t be able to get everyone out that we want to”.

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