Afghans scale walls, rush tarmac in frenzy to flee as Kabul wakes to Taliban takeover
In one video, crowds of people can be seen surrounding passenger jets and attempting to break into a corridor linking the terminal to a plane.
By Saphora Smith, Matteo Moschella and Courtney Kube
Desperate Afghans surrounded passenger jets and attempted to force themselves onto a plane in Kabul's airport overnight as panic spread after the Taliban took control of the capital 20 years after being toppled by U.S. forces.
One video shows a U.S. military aircraft attempting to take flight as dozens of Afghans sprint alongside it in an apparent attempt to stop it taking off without them. Some even climb aboard, clinging to the outside as the aircraft gains speed.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the airport, separated by a row of barbed wire the United States rushed to evacuate American diplomats from the country. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said late Sunday that all embassy personnel had been safely evacuated to premises at the airport, whose perimeter is secured by the U.S. military.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday that 1,000 more troops would be deployed to Kabul, eventually bringing the total force there to more than 6,000. Some 2,500 U.S. troops are currently on the ground.
Kirby also confirmed two separate incidents in which U.S. troops fired on armed individuals at the airport, resulting in the death of two armed individuals.
One U.S. official also told NBC News, that in the last 24 hours initial reports indicate that armed assailants fired into the crowd at the airport and U.S. forces returned fire. The official said reports indicate that the gunmen were killed.