8 people dead in Kabul airport amid chaos

KABUL, AUG 16 (IANS): At least five people have been killed at the Kabul airport and three stowaways were reported to have fallen to their deaths from an airborne plane as thousands of Afghans are desperately trying to get on flights out of the country amid increasingly chaotic scenes, the Daily Mail reported on Monday.
US troops fired shots in the air at the Hamid Karzai International Airport to prevent hundreds of civilians running onto the tarmac after they took over Afghanistan’s air traffic control. Witnesses said it was not clear whether the victims were killed by gunshots or in a stampede. Footage published by Asvaka showed three stowaways falling to the deaths after clinging on to the wheels of a military plane as it took off from Kabul airport.
Panicked Afghans were also seen climbing up the outside of an airbridge in a bid to get onboard planes and chasing a US military C-17 down the runway.
Videos also showed hundreds of people running alongside, and in front of, a US Air Force plane preparing to take off, the Daily Mail report said.
All commercial services have been suspended, with only military flights leaving the country as the UK, US and other western countries repatriate their citizens. It comes as the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed the first British nationals had landed at the RAF base Brize Norton after being evacuated from Kabul. The Taliban swept into the capital on Sunday after the Western-backed government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform the country.
Afghan Prez fled with 4 cars and a helicopter filled with cash: The Russian Embassy in Kabul has said that Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash and had to leave some money behind as it would not fit in, the RIA news agency reports.
Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Kabul, was quoted as saying by RIA: “Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac.”
Ischenko confirmed his comments to a global news wire, citing “witnesses” as the source of his information, Al Jazeera reported.
Afghanistan Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi said in a tweet, in an apparent reference to Ghani and his associates, that they “tied our hands behind our backs and sold the homeland, damn the rich man and his gang.”
Senior Afghan leader and Head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, had said that Ghani left the people of Afghanistan in mess and misery and he will be judged by the nation.