A week after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, tens of thousands of desperate people continue to hope that they will be evacuated by western states.
The Bundeswehr announced late on Saturday evening that it had meanwhile flown more than 2,130 people from Kabul.
According to the Pentagon, the American armed forces have brought 17,000 people to safety over the airlift since their mission began on Saturday last week.
The chaos in front of the airport continued.
According to the British government, seven people were killed in the crush around the airport. "Our thoughts are with the families of seven Afghan civilians who tragically died in the crowd in Kabul," said a statement from the Defense Ministry on Sunday. A correspondent for the British broadcaster Sky News had previously reported on chaotic scenes outside the gates of the airport, in which people were "squeezed" on Saturday. Many were dehydrated and desperate. According to his report, paramedics could no longer detect any signs of life in several people, whereupon they were wrapped in white towels.
The evacuation of those seeking protection by the Bundeswehr had come to a standstill on Saturday amid the chaotic conditions at the airport.
Several Bundeswehr aircraft were only able to take a few people on board.
The Bundeswehr announced on Saturday evening that the situation is still difficult.
“Islamic State” is supposed to plan an attack
The broadcaster CNN reported on Saturday, citing unnamed US defense sources, of the threat of an attack by the terrorist militia "Islamic State" (IS) on Kabul airport and its surroundings. The US military is therefore trying to show Americans, other foreigners and Afghan employees of the US government "alternative routes" to the airport. The Taliban are aware of the efforts and are coordinating with the US representatives. The Taliban and the regionally active branch of IS are deeply enemies and have fought against each other in the past.
The German and American embassies in Kabul advised their citizens against attempts to reach the airport on Saturday.
“At the moment it is generally safer to stay at home or in a sheltered place,” wrote the German embassy to compatriots.
The US embassy called on Americans to avoid the airport due to possible security threats.
"Situation is difficult"
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer assured that the Bundeswehr would continue the evacuation under high pressure. "The situation is difficult, but we will continue to work with the possibilities and everything that arises on site to get as many out as possible," she said on Saturday in Berlin. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in Washington: “We know that we are fighting against both time and space. This is the race we're in right now. "
The time window for further evacuations from Kabul is getting smaller and smaller. The US actually wants to complete the withdrawal of its troops by August 31st. A continuation of the evacuation operation without the USA is excluded. The Bundeswehr moved two helicopters to Kabul in order to have more options for evacuations. The agile helicopters arrived in Kabul on Saturday and are ready for use, according to the Defense Ministry.Keywords: