Jennifer Smith reports,
The first photos have emerged of crammed US cargo jets with hundreds of terrified Afghan refugees on board after they ran onto the aircraft before military personnel could close ramps on them on Sunday in their escape of the Taliban. The US has so far flown at least two C-17 cargo jets out of Kabul and more flights are expected throughout Monday night and later this week despite chaos on the ground on Monday which involved eight people dying and flights being halted. On Sunday, one of the first flights out was the US Air Force C-17 numbered RCH 871, which flew from Kabul to Qatar.
As it was preparing to take off on Sunday, hundreds of terrified Afghan nationals ran onto the plane, up the ramp, and settled on board. A photo obtained by Defense One shows them all lined up, sitting on the floor of the plane that is fitted to carry 150 soldiers comfortably, but can take 171,000lbs of cargo. Initially, audio from on board to an air traffic controller suggested there were 800 on board but Defense One says the true number was 640. The refugees – including many women and young children – ran onto the plane’s half-open ramp before take-off and ‘the crew made the decision to go’, taking them with them, an unnamed defense official said.
President Ghani fled the country on Sunday night as the insurgents encircled the capital – saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed – capping a military victory that saw them capture all cities in just 10 days.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who fought in the Soviet-Afghan War during the 1980s and helped ex-chief Mohammad Omar create the Taliban in 1994, has already been installed as the head of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, according to reports in the Arab world.
It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the country after a lightning sweep that ended in Kabul as government forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others at a cost of billions of dollars, melted away.
Many Afghans fear the Taliban will return to past harsh practices in their imposition of sharia religious law. During their rule, women could not work and punishments such as stoning, whipping and hanging were administered.
Read the rest and see amazing photos here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9899249/PICTURED-640-Afghan-refugees-ran-evacuation-jet-Kabul.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ico=taboola_feed&ns_mchannel=rss&ico=taboola_feed
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