A distressing video of Afghan men clinging to the outside of a US plane has highlighted how desperate they are to flee the Taliban.
The dramatic and devastating video was filmed by someone who was hanging on to the side of the plane, which was departing from Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.
The man filming the video turns the camera on himself as the plane makes it way down the runway. Large crowds of people are seen standing next to the runway.
According to the New York Post, the plane the men are seen clinging to is a US Air Force plane and the footage was taken on Monday.
"I’m sure most were blown off during the takeoff roll, and the rest fell when the landing gear doors closed," journalist Bryan Passifiume tweeted, along with the video.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, people have gone to incredible lengths to escape.
In another video shared to social media, hundreds of people are seen swarming a US Air Force plane on the tarmac, as it prepares for take off.
It is not clear if it is the same plane in the first video, but people are seen trying to jump on to the plane and cling to it.
Another video shows what is believed to be a military plane taking off, tragically showing people falling to their deaths from the side of the aircraft.
"Please understand, no one latches themselves to a plane knowing they will fall to their deaths unless the sky is safer than the land," Ahmed Ali tweeted.
US forces running the airport had to stop flights on Monday after thousands of frightened Afghans swamped the facility. Flights resumed on Tuesday as the situation came under control.
Please understand, no one latches themselves to a plane knowing they will fall to their deaths unless the sky is safer than the land.
— Ahmed Ali (@MrAhmednurAli) August 16, 2021
Taliban 'wants peace', says women will be allowed to work
The Taliban have said they want peace within the framework of Islamic law. But thousands of Afghans, many of whom helped US-led foreign forces over two decades, are desperate to leave.
The Taliban, fighting since their 2001 ouster to expel foreign forces, seized Kabul on Sunday after a lightning offensive as US-led Western forces withdrew under a deal that included a Taliban promise not to attack them as they leave.
As they consolidated power, the Taliban said one of their leaders and co-founders, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, had returned to Afghanistan for the first time in more than 10 years.
Baradar was arrested in Pakistan in 2010, but released from prison in 2018 at the request of former US president Donald Trump's administration so he could participate in peace talks.
As he was returning, a Taliban spokesman held the movement's first news briefing since their return to Kabul, suggesting they would impose their laws more softly than during their earlier time in power, between 1996-2001.
"We don't want any internal or external enemies," Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's main spokesman, told reporters.
Women would be allowed to work and study and "will be very active in society but within the framework of Islam", he said.
During their rule, also guided by Sharia religious law, the Taliban stopped women from working.
Girls were not allowed to go to school and women had to wear all-enveloping burqas to go out and then only when accompanied by a male relative.
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