Early Monday, August 23rd, a firefight erupted in Kabul, killing one Afghan soldier and wounding several others. The security situation is slowly deteriorating as the US considers prolonging the evacuation operation — Although it has been immersed in turmoil for more than a week.
According to German officials, American, German, and Afghan soldiers exchanged fire Monday morning. The incident left one Afghan soldier dead and three more wounded.
Some details remain unclear, such as who opened fire and what caused it. Fortunately, no injuries were reported among American and German soldiers.
The remaining Afghan army that didn’t surrender to the Taliban when they swept through the country this month is working with US troops to provide security around the perimeter of the US-controlled airport.
The gunbattle emphasizes the challenges facing the US in Afghanistan as the Biden administration considers whether to prolong the evacuation operation past the August 31st deadline. In the treaty, the US pledged to end those efforts and withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by then.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan by the seizure of Kabul on August 15th. This event has driven Western countries and thousands of Afghans who supported them over two decades to flee the country. The US and its allies have organized evacuation flights over the past week.
Within the week, the Taliban have surrounded the airport, setting up checkpoints and patrols on the road leading to it. Thousands of people have flocked to the airport. As a result, it left some people crushed and killed in stampedes. There are approximately 6,000 American troops at the airport, along with thousands more from allied countries.
On Saturday, the US warned citizens to withstand traveling to the airport due to threats from the Taliban. The Taliban briefly detained a group of Indian travelers when trying to access the airport.
Officials reported they are unlikely to extract all of the Afghans they want to take under their protection by August 31st.
On Sunday, President Biden stated that his administration might extend that deadline. To prevent this from occurring, the Pentagon ordered US airlines to evacuate Americans and Afghan partners from the country.
“There’s discussions going on among us and the military about extending [the deadline]… Our hope is that we will not have to extend. But there are going to be discussions, I expect, about how far along we are in the process,” said President Joe Biden
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