At least seven individuals have been killed in the chaos at Kabul's international airport on Monday as thousands of Afghans desperately attempt to flee the Taliban's capture of their country, according to senior military officials speaking on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press.
Videos circulating on social media show hundreds of Afghans running across the tarmac as U.S. troops fired warning shots in the air. One showed a crowd pushing and shoving its way up a staircase, trying to board a plane, with some people hanging off the railings. Another shows several individuals plunging to their death after attempting to cling onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane as it took off.
In addition, a U.S. official told Fox News that the two gunmen who "fired into the crowd" of Afghans at Kabul airport in separate incidences over the past 24 hours have been killed by U.S. forces.
The Taliban's occupation of Kabul marks an end to the United States’ 20-year effort to rebuild the nation after the withdrawal of the U.S. military from the region. The terrorist organization's takeover began on Sunday after Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and the U.S. Embassy began to evacuate its personnel.
In response to the situation in Afghanistan, the U.S. has deployed a total of 7,000 troops who will assist on the ground with evacuations. Other Western countries have also closed their missions and are working to help fly out their staff and nationals.
In addition to Kabul's international airport, Afghans are trying to leave through land border crossings, all of which are now controlled by the Taliban.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday acknowledged the security situation in Afghanistan "unfolded at unexpected speed," while maintaining that President Biden stands by his decision to withdraw U.S. troops. In interviews with U.S. television networks, Sullivan blamed the Afghan military for the Taliban's rapid takeover, saying it lacked the will to fight.
The Taliban is pushing to restore the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the formal name of the country under the Taliban rule before the militants were ousted by U.S-led forces in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, which were orchestrated by Al Qaeda while it was being sheltered by the Taliban.
Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson, Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.