On September 11, 2001, the war on terror began with pictures of men and women jumping to their deaths from New York’s twin towers rather than waiting to die in the hazy grasp of terrorist-inflicted death.
One month shy of 20 years after that terrible day, images of desperate individuals falling to their deaths rather than face the death they know is coming at the hands of terrorists are once again seen throughout the world.
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In contrast to sights of jubilant Taliban troops strolling through Kabul basking in victory, the city’s airport was a sea of boiling dread as Afghan people who know all too well that to stay is to die tried to flee.
After a plane reached the skies, video shows what appears to be at least one person plummeting to their death.
WARNING: The following tweets include violent imagery that may be unsettling to some users.
Chaotic scenes as Afghans attempt to cling to US Air Force plane departing from Kabul
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 16, 2021
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 16, 2021
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Watch: A video shows the moment Afghan citizens dropped from an aircraft near #Kabul airport after clinging on to a US Air Force plane in an attempt to flee the country amid the #Taliban takeover. #Afghanistan https://t.co/2vc7iuFmgj pic.twitter.com/MdrNlasobn
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) August 16, 2021
— AIRLIVE (@airlivenet) August 16, 2021
At least five individuals were murdered at the airport in the hurry to flee, according to some accounts, but it was unclear whether they were trampled or perished in some other way.
According to the Wall Street Journal, at least three Afghans were driven over and murdered while clinging to the side of a US Air Force jet departing the airport on Monday.
At least three Afghans clinging to the side of a U.S. Air Force jet leaving Kabul airport were run over and killed, a U.S. official said https://t.co/9GPgOvLL3p
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) August 16, 2021
Sporadic gunfire jolted frazzled nerves, while at least some of the rounds were fired into the air by US forces attempting to maintain some kind of order.
According to Kamal Alam, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and senior adviser to the Massoud Foundation, hope that Western nations would transport civilians out with diplomats was in sharp contrast to reality.
Alam stated, “No one can truly leave.”
“You can’t go if you don’t have a visa or passport, which the majority of Afghans don’t,” he said.
According to Alam, dignitaries were permitted to go, but ordinary citizens were denied.
“All of the VIPs were allowed to fly out first, and all of their money was transported.”