Desperate Afghans have reportedly been crushed to death as the situation at Kabul airport deteriorates.
US citizens are being urged to stay away from the last functioning route out of Afghanistan because of worsening conditions on the ground.
Western troops are battling to retain control of the airstrip as it attempts to airlift tens of thousands of people from the Taliban-controlled city.
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This morning, Boris Johnson said the situation on the ground is ‘slightly better’ but contradictory reports have emerged in recent hours.
According to reports, soldiers were covering bodies with white sheets outside Hamid Karzai International Airport this morning.
Tens of thousands of people are camping on the road to the airport and waiting for gates to reopen in the morning.
Reports said ‘today it turned chaotic in an instant’ with crushes at entrances and soldiers desperately trying to calm the situation.
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Reporting from the scene, the reporter wrote: ‘Paratroopers began pulling people from the mayhem, medics rushing from the next casualty to the next, then the next and the next. Crushed, dehydrated, terrified.’
The crowd was reportedly sprayed with a hose to keep people being crushed cool in 30C temperatures.
He said children were pulled from the desperate crowds and soldiers fired into the air to try and prevent the chaos.
There have been several reported deaths at the airport in recent days, including people who clung to the side of a plane taking off.
The US embassy told Americans: ‘Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid travelling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so.’
But there was confusion when general Hank Taylor told reporters he was ‘not familiar’ with the guidance, adding: ‘There has been no reported change to the current enemy situation in and around the airport at this time.
A Pentagon spokesperson was asked about the directive at a press conference but said he would ‘not get into specific details about the threat environment’.
He refused to be drawn over whether there is a specific terror threat or more general safety concerns about crowd disorder.’
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