breaks

Thousands Still Trying to Flee Kabul as Biden Says Troops Could Stay Longer

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Afghans and foreigners struggled Thursday to get through Taliban checkpoints and crowds to reach the airport in Kabul, a day after President Biden said U.S. troops would stay as long as needed to evacuate Americans.

Operations within the airport have improved from the initial chaos that followed the Taliban’s march into Kabul on Sunday, Western officials say. But many people are still struggling to reach the airport, which is controlled inside by thousands of U.S. military personnel.

Thousands of Afghans continued to surround the airport, pushing desperately to get in. Many lack the required documents to be allowed to board a flight but blocked entry gates.

Janan, a 37-year-old Afghan from the eastern province of Paktia, said by phone that he had made it inside the airport earlier this week but waited for four days without managing to get on a flight. He said that he had worked for a German company but that it hadn’t responded to his request for paperwork to prove it.

“Maybe I only have a 1% chance of getting on a plane but I’m trying,” he said. “The Taliban will kill us. They are only behaving a bit so far because the Americans are here.”

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