At least, a security guard has been reported to have died during and three others sustained varying degrees of injuries after a firefight erupted at Kabul airport when Afghan guards exchanged fire with unidentified gunmen during the clash which involved U.S. and German soldiers.
As gathered, the clash began on Monday when a sniper outside the airport fired at Afghan guards, who are mostly former government soldiers helping U.S. forces, near the airport’s north gate.
Confirming the development, Germany’s military said U.S. and German forces were involved in the clash, adding that three Afghan guards were being treated at a field hospital in the airport.
Also, two NATO officials at the airport said that the situation was under control after the firing. The Taliban have deployed fighters outside the airport, where they have tried to help enforce some kind of order.
Meanwhile, thousands of Afghans and foreigners have been thronging the airport for days, hoping to catch a flight out after Taliban fighters captured Kabul on Aug. 15.
Twenty people have been killed in the chaos at the airport, most in shootings and stampedes, as U.S. and international forces, try to evacuate citizens and vulnerable Afghans.
On Sunday, Taliban fighters beat back crowds at the airport a day after seven Afghans were killed in a crush at the gates as the deadline for the withdrawal of foreign troops approaches.
Reacting to the rush, a Taliban leadership official said that foreign forces in Afghanistan have not sought to extend the Aug. 31 deadline to leave, adding that it would not be extended, after President Joe Biden said that U.S. troops might stay longer to oversee a “hard and painful” evacuation.
The Taliban seized power just over a week ago as the United States and its allies withdrew troops after a 20-year war launched in the weeks after September 11, 2001, attacks as U.S. forces hunted al Qaeda leaders and sought to punish their Taliban hosts.
The administration of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, struck a deal with the Taliban last year allowing the United States to withdraw its forces in exchange for Taliban security guarantees.