Firefight involving Western forces erupts at Kabul Airport

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Kabul

A firefight broke out between unidentified gunmen, Western security forces and Afghan guards at the North Gate of Kabul airport on Monday, Germany’s armed forces said, as thousands of Afghans and foreigners thronged the airport, seeking to flee Taliban rule.

One Afghan guard was killed and three others were injured in the battle, which also involved US and German forces, the German military said on Twitter, without specifying whether the dead Afghan was one of the Taliban fighters deployed to guard the airport.

The airport has been a scene of chaos since the Taliban seized the Afghan capital on August 15 as US 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.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan just over a week ago as the United States and its allies withdrew troops after a 20-year war aimed at
overthrowing the Taliban and hunting down Al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks.

Foreign forces were working towards the end-August deadline agreed with the Taliban to leave the country and had not sought to extend it yet, a senior legal adviser to the
Taliban leadership told Reuters on Monday.

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