The US Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations is looking into an incident at Kabul Airport on Monday in which hundreds of Afghan civilians wanting to leave the country surrounded a C-17 cargo plane as it attempted to take off.
The Air Force did not specify how many people were killed. Human remains were discovered in the plane’s wheel well after it landed at al-Udeid Air Base in the Gulf state of Qatar, according to the report.
Social media users shared videos of the tragedy, which included footage of individuals falling from the plane as it took off. The photographs captured the early turmoil of a U.S.-directed evacuation that occurred after the Taliban took over the country.
According to the Air Force, a C-17 Globemaster III arrived at Kabul airport to deliver equipment for the evacuation mission. The aeroplane was besieged by hundreds of Afghan villagers who had breached the security cordon before the crew could unload the cargo. The crew opted to take off because the security situation was deteriorating.
As part of a media blitz intended at reassuring world powers and a scared population, the Taliban vowed Tuesday to respect women’s rights, forgive those who opposed them, and ensure Afghanistan does not become a refuge for terrorists.
Following a lightning onslaught across Afghanistan in which several cities fell to the rebels without a struggle, the Taliban has sought to present itself as more moderate than when it established a harsh form of Islamic authority in the late 1990s. Many Afghans, however, remain doubtful, and thousands have rushed to the airport in an attempt to exit the country.
Older generations recall the Taliban’s former rule, when they restricted women to their homes, prohibited television and music, and carried out public executions.
A US-led operation ousted them from power months after the 9/11 attacks, which al-Qaida had planned from Afghanistan while being protected by the Taliban.
On the other hand, US President Joe Biden has justified his move to terminate America’s longest war, blaming Afghanistan’s Western-backed government and security forces for the quick Taliban takeover. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg agreed, but said that the alliance needed to look into the weaknesses in its efforts to educate Afghan forces.
The Taliban and numerous Afghan politicians, including former President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, who briefly chaired the country’s negotiating council, continued talks on Tuesday. The Taliban have stated their desire to establish an “inclusive, Islamic government.”
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