WATCH – Gunfire Erupts at Kabul Airport – At least 5 dead

The Jerusalem Post:

One witness said he had seen the bodies of five people being taken to a vehicle. It was unclear whether they were victims of gunfire or stampede

At least five people were killed in Kabul airport on Monday as hundreds of people tried to forcibly enter planes leaving the Afghan capital, witnesses told Reuters.

“This is our airport but we are seeing diplomats being evacuated while we wait in complete uncertainty,” said Rakhshanda Jilali, a human rights activist who was trying to get to Pakistan, told Reuters in a message from the airport.One witness said he had seen the bodies of five people being taken to a vehicle.

Another witness said it was not clear whether the victims were killed by gunshots or in a stampede.US forces managing the airport fired into the air to stop Afghans surging onto the tarmac to try to board a military flight, a US official said.

Dozens of men tried to clamber up onto an overhead departure gangway to board a plane while hundreds of others milled about, a video posted on social media showed.

In addition, an Afghan military jet was shot down by Uzbek air defense forces and crashed after crossing the border into Uzbekistan, the Uzbek defense ministry said on Monday. The jet crashed late on Sunday in Uzbekistan’s southernmost Surxondaryo province adjacent to Afghanistan.”Uzbekistan’s air defense forces prevented an attempt by an Afghan military aircraft to illegally cross Uzbekistan’s border,” defense ministry spokesman Bahrom Zulfikorov said.

He did not say how many people were on board or whether they have survived the crash.Russia’s RIA news agency earlier on Monday cited Uzbekistan’s defense ministry as saying the pilot had ejected and was injured. On Sunday, Uzbekistan said it had detained 84 Afghan soldiers who had crossed the border and sought medical help.The United States has temporarily halted all evacuation flights from Kabul to clear people who had converged on the airfield, a US defense official told Reuters. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, did not say how long the pause would last.

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