Women at Kabul airport crushed in 'horrendous' scenes, journalist tells LBC

21 August 2021, 12:13

By Seán Hickey

As Afghans try to flee Taliban rule, a number of people have died in desperate scenes at Kabul airport, according to this journalist.

Kim Sengupta is the defence and diplomatic editor of the Independent and joined Matt Frei from Kabul airport, the epicentre of the crisis in Afghanistan currently.

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"It's been an absolutely horrendous morning, probably the worst so far," he began.

"I've seen four people crushed to death in the space of about an hour, there are probably more dead in places we cant access.

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He explained to Matt that the deceased are all women who were caught in the crush as Afghans scramble to be taken from the now Taliban-controlled country.

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Matt asked where exactly the victims were crushed, but Mr Sengupta explained that a "combination of the crush and the heat" led to the disaster.

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He went on to explain that the crush occurred on a "narrow road that's been barricaded because of what's been going on" which leads to Kabul airport.

"The British soldiers have been magnificent in trying to look after the people that have been injured and dying and they did what they could...but it was too late."

Matt wondered what was going through the journalist's mind as he saw chaos unfold near the airport. "It was entirely avoidable," he told LBC.

Mr Sangupta went on to suggest that comments from US and UK governments have led to the crush of people at Kabul airport, as people desperately try to evacuate the country before NATO troops leave for good.

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"People thought the window was coming rapidly to an end and they've rushed."

"This is an example of how glib, throwaway remarks made by politicians in Washington and London can have horrendous consequences on the ground here"