Americans told to take shelter as Taliban move in on Kabul airport

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Americans told to take shelter as Taliban move in on Kabul airport

Most US embassy staffers in Afghanistan were awaiting evacuation at Kabul airport Sunday — which was “taking fire” as Taliban forces moved in amid the deteriorating situation, according to reports.

“The security situation in Kabul is changing quickly, including at the airport,” the US Embassy in Afghanistan said Sunday.

“Where are reports of the airport taking fire,” the announcement said. “Therefore we are instructing US citizens to shelter in place.”

The embassy urged the families of US citizens in the troubled nation to file forms for immigrant visas “as soon as possible.”

US Ambassador Ross Wilson is among those gathered at the capital city’s airport Sunday after Taliban forces entered Kabul earlier in the day, with Afghan forces quickly capitulating as US troops moved out in recent days, CNN said.

“People here woke up to the news in the morning that the Taliban was at the gates, just outside Kabul,” CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward said. “There was chaos in the streets.

US Ambassador of Afghanistan Ross Willson.
The US embassy urged the families of US citizens in Afghanistan to file forms for immigrant visas “as soon as possible.”
Getty Images

“People were double-parking, people were driving down the wrong side of the road, people were just absolutely panicked,” Ward said. “There was a run on bans. There were people waiting outside in long lines outside of the passport office.”

The US has been embroiled in a protracted war in Afghanistan since 2001, but former President Trump last year announced that American troops would pull out this year.

Last month, President Joe Biden announced he would pull out the troops by the end of this month, even as the Taliban had gained strength and violated terms of the withdrawal agreement.

Ariana Afghan Airlines.
Taliban forces have been seizing major hubs in Afghanistan since US troops began withdrawing from the region.
AFP via Getty Images

The country has since lapsed into chaos, with the anti-government forces taking control of major cities — including Kabul — with shocking speed.

Also Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as it neared collapse.

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