Afghans waiting to be evacuated being charged $40 for a bottle of water at Kabul airport

  • Kabul airport, where thousands of US-led foreign troops and huge crowds of Afghans desperate to leave the country after the Taliban took over on August 15 have gathered, is under threat from Islamic State militants
A Western diplomat told news agency Reuters that despite security warnings the area around the Kabul airport is “incredibly crowded”. (AP Photo)(AP)
A Western diplomat told news agency Reuters that despite security warnings the area around the Kabul airport is “incredibly crowded”. (AP Photo)(AP)
Published on Aug 26, 2021 12:34 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Ayshee Bhaduri | Edited by Avik Roy

For the scores of people thronging the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul the exorbitant cost of essential items, such as water and rice, has made life increasingly difficult. “At Kabul airport one bottle of water is selling for $40 and a plate of rice for $100, not Afghan currency but dollars, that’s out of the reach for the common people,” an Afghan citizen told news agency Reuters on August 25.

Kabul airport, where thousands of US-led foreign troops and huge crowds of Afghans desperate to leave the country after the Taliban took over on August 15 have gathered, is under threat from Islamic State militants, US warned Afghan citizens on August 25. The US, Britain, and Australia have urged people to leave the area for safer locations.

Western troops are currently trying to evacuate as many people as possible before the official date of US withdrawal looms closer. Armed Taliban fighters are guarding the periphery as expectant crowds wait to be evacuated.

A Western diplomat told news agency Reuters that despite security warnings the area around the airport is “incredibly crowded” and an estimated 1,500 US passport or visa holders were still trying to enter the airport. “I learned from an email sent from London that the Americans are taking people out of here that is why I have come here so that I can go abroad,” an Afghan man told Reuters.

“The situation at the airport is really bad, people are crowding and because of the rush of people, women and children are in terrible condition,” an Afghan man waiting at the gates of the airport told Reuters.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed President Joe Biden’s sentiments on Thursday, and told reporters that the US is prioritising evacuation of Americans out of Kabul, but they are committed to “getting out as many Afghans at-risk as we can before the 31st".

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Thursday, December 02, 2021