Afghanistan: Human remains found in US military flight from Kabul
The US Air Force said on Tuesday that human remains were found in the wheel well of a C-17 aircraft that flew out of the Afghan capital Kabul amid chaos in the war-torn country. It added that its Office of Special Investigations is reviewing the incident. Panic gripped Afghans after the Taliban took over the country on Sunday and they desperately tried to flee.
In a statement, the force said that human remains were found after the plane landed at al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar. It had landed at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport to deliver equipment to support evacuations, but could not complete that task. "Faced with a rapidly deteriorating security situation around the aircraft, the C-17 crew decided to depart the airfield as quickly as possible."
Thousands of Afghans swarmed the Kabul international airport on Sunday night and Monday, making desperate attempts to flee the country. However, the airspace was shut and most commercial flights had been canceled. At least two people fell to their death from a US military plane. Seven others were said to have been killed, either due to stampede or firing by soldiers, at the airport.
The Taliban, a group of insurgents infamous for violence and infringing human rights, took control of Afghanistan on Sunday even as President Ashraf Ghani fled. The group had captured many key cities in a matter of days before reaching the capital and asking for a "peaceful transition" of power. Their return coincided with the US's decision to withdraw troops after 20 years of war.
On Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on the situation in Afghanistan. Indian ambassador to Afghanistan Rudrendra Tandon, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and NSA Ajit Doval were present at that meet. India has so far evacuated more than 100 diplomats, soldiers, and citizens from Afghanistan in the past few days.
Separately, in its first press conference after the takeover, the Taliban promised to ensure the safety of Afghans and maintain peaceful relations with other countries. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the group, said they will uphold women's rights under the Islamic law. He added they do not want to take revenge from those who worked with the US or other foreign entities.