Video of people in Afghanistan trying to flee the country by clinging to a departing US Air Force plane has gone viral.
The footage was captured at Kabul’s international airport after the Taliban seized control of the capital on Sunday Aug. 15 and declared itself in charge of the country.
As the US began evacuating diplomats and civilians, thousands of people in Afghanistan swarmed the airport in desperate attempts to flee the country.
Other clips showed people rushing onto the runways and towards boarding gates.
Another video showed two people falling from the underside of a US military aircraft after it took off.
At least five people, including the two who fell to their deaths, were killed in the chaos, Reuters reported.
Flights out of the airport, which US forces took control over, were suspended much of Monday but have resumed on Tuesday.
US president Joe Biden has defended his decision to withdraw US forces after almost 20 years of war that he said cost more than US$1 trillion.
The Taliban, which controlled the majority of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, had regained control of nearly all of Afghanistan in a lightning offensive in just over a week.
The insurgents are expected to declare a new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in the coming days after the country’s president, Ashraf Ghani, fled, and the government collapsed.
During its rule, the Taliban enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law, committing massacres against Afghan civilians, denying hundreds of thousands of starving civilians UN food supplies and carrying out a scorched earth policy of burning fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes.
It banned girls from going to school and workplaces and required them to be accompanied by a male relative and wear a burqa at all times in public. Women hwho disobeyed were whipped or executed.
Cultural activities and media, such as art, movies and music, were also prohibited.
Fearful of a return to the harsh practices, people in Afghanistan have desperately tried to leave the country despite the Taliban announcing that it was seeking a peaceful transition of power.
More than 60 countries have since issued a joint statement distributed by the US State Department calling on those in power in Afghanistan to allow Afghans and international citizens who wish to leave the country to depart.