Seven dead as stampede to flee the Taliban continues at Kabul airport
Dominic Raab is being urged to step in and create a safe passage into the airport as horror stories emerge of Afghans being shot at and abused
The deaths are believed to involve four women, according to reports, and there are fears the true death toll could be much higher. The announcement, from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), follows news earlier this week that suggested 12 people had died since insurgents claimed control of Kabul last Sunday.
The latest deaths come as Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence, warned that Afghans fleeing to Britain will have to make their own way to the borders if the US does not delay withdrawal.
Labour Shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, has written to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urgently asking him to step in and work with NATO partners to hasten evacuation efforts in Afghanistan. She wants Raab to consider establishing a military policing operation "just outside the gate, or a processing zone inside".
Writing on Twitter, she said: "My office is in touch with hundreds of people who have been shot at, beaten or turned back trying to reach the airport and British processing centre in Afghanistan."
My office is in touch with hundreds of people who have been shot at, beaten or turned back trying to reach the airport and British processing centre in Afghanistan. We need to step up evacuation efforts urgently. My letter to the Foreign Secretary ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/VTiW7wZBjI
— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) August 21, 2021
No more excuses. Act now or more lives will be lost. pic.twitter.com/B9qIjlE6nn
— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) August 22, 2021
An Afghan woman called Sara, who asked for her real name not to be used, told the Observer how families with US visas, US passports, and green cards were not able to reach their evacuation flights.
"It's so scary here. There's horror in everyone's eyes. No one is allowed through, even with visas," Sara was quoted as saying.
"No one from the US is helping us. No one is telling us which gate to go to - we don't even know when the US flights are leaving. There is violence everywhere but every gate we go to is closed and no one gives us any information or shows any mercy."
In a statement, the MoD said: "Our sincere thoughts are with the families of the seven Afghan civilians who have sadly died in crowds in Kabul. Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible."
MailOnline reported that one Afghan family had seen more than 15 people including children shot dead.
Mary-Ellen McGroarty, the UN’s World Food Programme’s country director for Afghanistan, told the Observer that world leaders needed to act fast to stop an already "horrendous situation" from becoming an "absolute catastrophe, a complete humanitarian disaster".
“We need to get supplies into the country, not only in terms of food, but the medical supplies, the shelter supplies. We need money and we need it now," she told the newspaper.
“Delay for the next six or seven weeks and it’s going to start becoming too late. People have nothing. We have to get food in now and get it to the communities in the provinces, before roads are blocked by snow.”
The Foreign Office says it is trying to get people out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible. More than 3,000 people, including British nationals and Afghan staff, have been evacuated from the country since Sunday, it said.
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