U.S. forces at the airport in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul killed two people amid frenzied evacuation efforts in the wake of the fall of the democratic government to the Taliban, officials said Monday.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said those fatally shot were carrying weapons in the melee, the Associated Press reported.
ABC News posted shocking video of the chaos at the airport.
"There have been security incidents at the field involving armed individuals shooting at U.S. forces,” an unnamed Pentagon spokesman told reporters, The Hill reported.
“I want to reiterate that while our mission is not offensive, our forces have the inherent right of self defense, and they will respond accordingly to threats and attacks. So in two separate incidents, U.S. forces did respond to hostile threats that resulted in the death of two armed individuals."
According to the Wall Street Journal, the two armed men approached the troops at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul who were stationed there to help with the evacuation process.
A Pentagon official also told the Journal at least three Afghan civilians were killed after being run over by a military jet carrying staff members.
Unnamed senior American military officials told the AP the chaos left seven dead, including several who fell from the plane.
Kirby said 1,000 more U.S. troops would be deployed to secure the airfield and back up the 2,500 already there, the AP reported. All flights at the airport — both military and civilian — were halted until Afghan civilians can be cleared from the runway, he added.
The Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday, regaining full control of the country for the first time since 2001. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country the same day.
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