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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Taliban Stall Kabul Evacuations, Crack Down on Protests in the East


Afghans and Westerners stranded in Kabul following the Taliban takeover faced difficulty getting into the city’s U.S. controlled airport due to checkpoints pushing them back.

The Taliban dispersed the crowds seeking escape with violence, beating and whipping families trying to get through the checkpoints and shooting guns into the air.

“The situation is very bad at the gate,” Lida Ahmadi, who applied for a special immigrant visa, said. “I slept on the road last night. Now, after two nights and two days at the gate, we’ve finally got the chance to come in. I am so happy now.”

An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 U.S. citizens are stuck in Afghanistan, according to senior Biden administration officials. In total, the U.S. has evacuated 3,200 people and relocated to the U.S. 2,000 Afghans who were approved for special visas.

Meanwhile, in the eastern cities of Jalalabad, Khost and Asadabad, Afghanis marched through the streets waving the flags of the fallen government chanting “Allahu akbar.” The Taliban, to no surprise, dispersed the protests with gunfire – some in the air as a warning, but some killing and injuring citizens.

The crackdown on protests contradicted the image of tolerance that the Taliban have painted since taking over the capital on Sunday, per the Wall Street Journal.