U.S. troops shot and killed two armed men Monday at Kabul’s Karzai International Airport, the headquarters for U.S. evacuation operations.
“U.S. troops shot and killed two armed men at Kabul’s international airport, according to a U.S. official. The armed men, who numbered at least two, approached U.S. troops deployed to the airport to provide security and assist Americans and other individuals in a safe departure from Afghanistan, the official said. Few details were available about how things transpired between the U.S. troops and the armed men, who weren’t identified,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
The United States took over the airport on Sunday to oversee the evacuation of its embassy’s personnel and diplomatic team, as well as run air control for other countries evacuating their citizens and staff. The U.S. suspended flights out of the airport Monday morning after numerous Afghans broke through security and crowded on the airstrip and attempted to cling to departing planes.
“The US military has suspended air operations at the Kabul airport while troops try to clear the airfield of Afghans who flooded the tarmac, per [CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr]. Biden’s national security advisers have made clear this a.m. they don’t consider the airport secure right now,” CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tweeted on Monday morning.
The international evacuation plan has been bottlenecked at Karzai International Airport. Bagram Air Base, located north of Kabul, was overrun with Taliban militants over the weekend after the U.S. turned the base over to the Afghan military last month. As The Daily Wire reported:
The Taliban took control of Bagram Air Base on Sunday, a former American airbase that the U.S turned over to the Afghanistan government last month.
The Taliban have reportedly released thousands of prisoners that were held at Bagram, including members of al Qaeda, the terror group that carried out the 9-11 attacks and prompted the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Bagram was under control of the U.S. military for roughly two decades before leaving it in control of the Afghan military in July as the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan.
“The Taliban claims it overran Bagram Air Base and freed prisoners. Many high-value detainees were located there, including members of Al Qaeda. This will reverberate for years to come,” said Bill Roggio, Long War Journal editor, and terror analyst.
Along with its embassy personnel and diplomatic officials, the United States is also working to extract American citizens in Afghanistan and thousands of refugee visa holders. The Department of Defense is preparing to house up to 30,000 Afghan refugees at military bases in the U.S.
An unknown number of Americans are reportedly trapped behind Taliban checkpoints with no clear way to get to the airport for evacuation, according to Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) office. As The Daily Wire reported:
Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AK) office told New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman that his office is receiving calls from United States citizens trapped behind Taliban checkpoints, even as the U.S. State Department is demanding the Taliban allow foreign nationals to leave the country.
Cotton’s office opened its phone lines to citizens in Kabul who need help, according to a tweet the Senator sent out earlier Sunday, asking anyone in need to make contact. Haberman tweeted Sunday night that Cotton’s office received calls from “multiple U.S. citizens” requiring help.
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