Thousands of Afghans flee from Kabul, Aug 31 may not be enough


Staff member
Thousands of Afghans flee from Kabul, Aug 31 may not be enough
Nearly 18.5 million people - half the population - rely on aid and the humanitarian needs are expected to grow.
AUGUST 23, 2021

With thousands of desperate Afghans and foreigners crowding into Kabul airport in the hope of fleeing Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers, pressure grew on US President Joe Biden on Monday to extend the deadline for the evacuation operation. Biden on Sunday warned that the evacuation was going to be "hard and painful" and said a lot could still go wrong. US troops might stay beyond their Aug. 31 deadline to oversee the evacuation, he said.

That concern was underlined on Monday morning when a firefight erupted at the airport between Afghan guards and unidentified gunmen. German and US forces were also involved, the Germany military said. The security situation around Kabul airport has become increasingly dangerous, a senior Canadian government official told reporters.

"Crowds are intense, violence is becoming more common and Taliban checkpoints in surrounding areas are preventing many from reaching the airport area," said the official, who spoke on the condition he not be identified.