Taliban Block Routes to Kabul Airport, Hampering Evacuations From Afghanistan
Afghans and Westerners are stranded in Kabul after the Taliban took over the capital city on Sunday. The insurgents set up checkpoints on most roads leading to the city’s US-controlled airport, hindering evacuation flights. There is currently no clear system to bring people into the airport and entry remains extremely difficult. In the eastern city of Jalalabad, protestors walked through the city’s central square waving the flag of the fallen Afghan republic to protest Taliban rule. Video footage appeared to show gunfire, resulting in the demonstration’s end as protestors fled the scene.
There has been no clarification on casualties, and it remains unclear whether the gunfire signifies a more brutal attitude and rule by the Taliban, who have attempted to project a different image of tolerance since seizing the capital. One Taliban member arrived in Kabul for a meeting with former president Hamid Karzai, who ruled until 2014, and the former republic’s chief peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah, likely to discuss political moves. The Taliban has argued for a peaceful handover of power. At the country’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, crowds of Afghans gather along the perimeter in an attempt to flee the country. The US Marines have been providing aid in the region, working to calm the tense situation.