U.S. troops shot and killed two armed men on Monday amid chaos at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Defense Department confirmed, USA Today reported.
Two unidentified armed men had approached the troops, but details are not known about what exactly happened, the Wall Street Journal reported. U.S. troops were deployed to the airport to protect and assist Americans and other individuals as they attempt to leave Afghanistan amid the Taliban’s takeover of the country and the fall of the government Sunday.
A U.S. official said at least three Afghans were killed as they desperately tried to hold on to an Air Force jet taking off from the tarmac, the WSJ reported.
Witnesses saw three other bloodied bodies lying on the ground outside of the terminal building, according to the WSJ.
Evacuation flights for foreign diplomats and American citizens are processed by U.S. military personnel in a separate area of the airport, the WSJ reported. Chaos erupted as thousands of Afghans, including those who worked for American forces, flooded the airport to avoid retaliation from the Taliban following their takeover of Kabul.
U.S. troops tried to build barricades to separate the military side of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul from the civilian terminal, an anonymous U.S. official told USA Today
A Western military official said U.S. Marines fired warning shots Sunday, as hundreds of Afghans attempted to swarm a C-17 transport aircraft, the WSJ reported. According to passengers, both American troops on the ground and military helicopters flying low fired shots throughout the night to scatter crowds. The two helicopters also used smoke grenades to avoid crowding.
The U.S. plans to deploy more American troops until Tuesday to reach 6,000 to help with the evacuation effort, the Department of Defense and the Department of State announced in a joint statement Sunday. The Department of Defense said American troops have the right of self-defense and may use lethal force if the Taliban or other individuals interrupt airport operations.
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