KABUL, Afghanistan — Senior U.S. military officials say the chaos at the Kabul airport Monday morning left seven people dead, including some who fell from a departing American military transport jet.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss ongoing operations.
Afghans rushed onto the tarmac of the capital’s airport on Monday as thousands tried to flee the country after the Taliban seized power with stunning speed.
Some clung to the side of a U.S. military plane before takeoff, in a widely shared video that captured the sense of desperation as America’s 20-year war comes to a chaotic end.
Another video showed the Afghans falling as the plane gained altitude over Kabul.
CNN reported that the U.S. military was forced to lay down razor wire around the runway in the hopes of keeping more people off the runway.
Many of those attempting to flee the country fear an oppressive Taliban governance or retribution from the group for their past opposition to their rule.
The Associated Press reports that a group of more than 60 nations called on the Taliban to facilitate the safe passage of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country.
The statement says that those in power and authority across the country “bear responsibility — and accountability — for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order.”
The nations’ statement also says that roads, airports and border crossings must remain open, and that calm must be maintained.
“The Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. We in the international community stand ready to assist them,” the statement reads.