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US forces fire in air to stop jostling Afghans at Kabul airport

US troops fired shots into the air at Kabul airport on Monday as thousands of Afghans crowded onto the tarmac desperate to leave the country

US forces fire in air to stop jostling Afghans at Kabul airport
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US troops fired shots into the air at Kabul airport on Monday as thousands of Afghans crowded onto the tarmac desperate to leave the country a day after the Taliban takeover of the country. "The crowd was out of control. The firing was only done to defuse the chaos," a US official told Reuters by phone.

US forces are in charge at the airport and are helping in the evacuation of embassy staff and other civilians. "I feel very scared here. They are firing lots of shots into the air," a witness told sources.

Several photographs and videos on social media show Afghans crowding the airport trying to get out of the country after Taliban insurgents entered the capital on Sunday. Some photographs on social media showed hundreds with their luggage trying to get to the airport. In one such video, hundreds of people were seen jostling to climb into a plane and trying to get inside through the only ladder connected to its door.

The US Federal Aviation Administration said flights operating below 26,000 feet were prohibited in the Kabul Flight Information Region, which largely covers Afghanistan, unless operating in and out of Hamid Karzai International Airport, citing the risk "posed by extremist/militant activity." These restrictions do not apply to US military operations.

Safe Airspace, which tracks such warnings, said Canada, Britain, Germany and France have also advised airlines to maintain an altitude of at least 25,000 feet over Afghanistan, according to website. Emirates has suspended flights to Kabul, until further notice, the airline said on its website.

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