Afghan soldier killed in gunfight at Kabul airport; 3 injured
One Afghan security personnel was killed while three others were injured in a firefight with unidentified gunmen at the Kabul airport on Monday, Germany's military said. The situation in Afghanistan, particularly the Kabul airport, has been chaotic since the Taliban seized power over a week ago. At least 20 people—including those attempting to flee Afghanistan—have been killed near the airport this past week.
Gunfight erupted at Kabul airport's north gate
Germany's armed forces reportedly said, "This morning at 4:13 am, there was an exchange of fire between Afghan guards and unknown assailants at the North Gate of Kabul airport," Agence France-Presse reported. "American and German forces participated in further exchange of fire," the force said, adding that all its Bundeswehr members were uninjured. The assailants remain unidentified.
Chaos outside Kabul airport; 20 killed
The British military had on Sunday acknowledged at least seven deaths at the airport. At least 20 people have been killed in and around the airport in the week since the Taliban's takeover, a NATO official said on Sunday. Reports of gunfire at the airport emerge frequently as thousands of Afghans continue to gather outside the fates, scrambling to flee the Taliban's rule.
Western forces not seeking extension of August 31 deadline: Taliban
On Monday, a Taliban official said that the foreign forces have not sought an extension of the August 31 deadline to leave the country. US President Joe Biden said that he hopes that the evacuation mission from Afghanistan will be completed by August 31. Notably, Biden had earlier said the deadline may be extended further to complete the evacuation of Americans and Afghans.
America concerned over Islamic State threat
Meanwhile, the United States Embassy in Kabul has issued a warning to American citizens in Afghanistan to avoid travel to the Hamid Karzai International Airport without approval from American authorities. The US is concerned about a potential Islamic State threat against Americans in Afghanistan. President Biden acknowledged the threat while addressing reporters on Sunday, saying that "terrorists may seek to exploit the situation."
Foreign countries continue evacuations as deadline draws near
In fact, all foreign countries are ramping up their evacuation efforts before the negotiated August-end deadline. The US sought the help of six commercial airlines to transport people after their evacuation from Afghanistan. Biden said people fleeing Afghanistan were assisted by over 24 countries on four continents. Japan will also send a military aircraft on Monday to evacuate its citizens and Afghans.
146 evacuees reach India Monday; US evacuated over 30,000 people
Notably, 146 people evacuated from Afghanistan reached India on Monday. India is reportedly working to repatriate 500 more Indians from Afghanistan. The US and Britain maintained that they have evacuated 30,300 and 4,000 people, respectively, since mid-August.
What is happening in Afghanistan?
It has been over a week since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan after the capital city, Kabul, was captured. The group gained ground as the US withdrew its troops to end its two-decade-long 'War on Terror'. While the Taliban is trying to form an "inclusive government," several Afghans are rushing to flee the country, fearing reprisals and return to harsh Islamic rule.