Military personnel fired tear gas to control the crowds of Afghans trying to gain access to Kabul airport Friday, a day after the Pentagon said that order was being restored at the site and evacuation flights from Afghanistan would be accelerating.
Soldiers have also fired into the air to disperse crowds, according to a senior Western official. It was unclear whether the soldiers were American; Afghan, British and other Western troops are also stationed at the airport.
The U.S. military didn’t comment on the tear gas and firings but said that it is tasked with securing an outer perimeter at the airport. It has also assumed responsibility for air-traffic control there.
“The security situation remains fluid,” said the media office for U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan. “Our mission is focused on securing [the] airport and working to keep flights going.”
Soldiers are also going just outside the airport perimeter, which is surrounded by Taliban fighters, to disperse crowds and clear the way for families struggling to get in, videos clips taken by passengers show.