(Kabul) Milad came to Kabul Airport on Thursday with his wife, three children and all their papers, hoping to start a new life in the US. But everything suddenly collapsed when the first bomb exploded.
Posted on Aug 27, 2021 at 6:13 am
“Total panic” then seized the Afghans, who had gathered by the thousands at the gates of the enclosure for days, to flee the new Taliban regime in one of the countless planes chartered from the West.
Two suicide bombers from the Islamic State group had just struck and aimed primarily at American soldiers guarding the overcrowded entrances to the airport. Carnage: At least 85 dead, including 13 Americans, and more than 160 injured, according to latest reports.
The explosions hit the crowd head-on, plunging dozens of victims into the filthy, filthy water of a sewer that stretches alongside the airport.
Bloody corpses lay strewn there, some with their faces in this several dozen centimeters long brown water. Lifeless or semi-conscious like this man held by the elbow to bring his face to the surface.
Fortunately, other victims managed to get up while the seriously injured were evacuated in wheelbarrows. Around them, part of the shocked crowd shouted for help, everyone looking for loved ones in the midst of the bloodbath.
“There are many dead and wounded,” said Milad. Surrounded by “the projected corpses and human fragments”, in confusion he loses the family papers with which he hoped to go abroad.
“I never, ever want to go (to the airport). Death to America, its evacuation and its visas, ”he said in disgust.
“When the people heard the explosion, there was total panic,” recalls another Afghan, who also tried to leave the country. According to him, the attack took the Taliban guards around the airport by surprise. “They then shot in the air to disperse the people waiting at the door,” adds this man, who in particular “saw a man running with an injured baby in his arms.”
“Left with nothing”
Thousands of them were standing in front of the airport on Thursday, more and more feverishly a few days before the August 31 deadline. Committed by US President Joe Biden to withdraw foreign troops from Afghanistan, it will mark the end of the gigantic airlift that the West has organized since the Taliban’s sudden seizure of power in mid-August and which has evacuated nearly 100,000 people so far.
The exit candidates had ignored Western warnings issued since the previous day mentioning credible threats of suicide bombings in the area around the complex.
An explosion occurred near Abbey Gate, one of the airport access gates used by the French and British in particular to bring people to be evacuated, and the other near the Baron Hotel, according to the Pentagon report.
Men, women, and children then ran in all directions to escape from the places where thick smoke was escaping.
Shortly thereafter, an AFP photographer saw at least five bodies of victims and dozens of wounded arriving at a nearby hospital run by the Italian NGO Emergency. Women in bloody tunics wept among other victims propped up on stretchers.
The injured “could not speak, many were afraid, lost their eyes in the void”, said on Twitter Alberto Zanin, the medical coordinator of the hospital, which was already 80 percent occupied before the attack.
A resident of Kabul, Abdul Majeed, was looking for his brother there, whom he had not heard from since the explosions. “He was at the airport, he wanted to go abroad. I don’t know whether it entered or not, the Americans are preventing entry ”.
“He was a high school student, he was gifted, but because of the situation in the country today, he wanted to leave like everyone else here,” he said. “He accompanied a family to the airport, he left without papers, with nothing. It exploded as they approached the entrance ”.