'I'm Australian': Haunting airport video shows 'diabolical situation'

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A video filmed by a man who claims to be an Australian citizen shows the fraught and possibly fatal position many Afghans find themselves in as thousands continue to scramble to leave the country. 

Violent scenes continue outside the airport in the capital Kabul as locals try to avoid Taliban militants and get into the airport as Allied troops work to evacuate people. 

Local reports say citizens trying to breach the perimeter of the airport have been hit and whipped with sticks, pipes and rifles by Taliban militants.

"They hit me," the man says to the camera. 

"I'm an Australian citizen." 

The bloodied man, who claims to have Australian citiizenship, said he was trying to make it to the airport.
The bloodied man, who claims to have Australian citiizenship, said he was trying to make it to the airport. Source: Twitter

"This happened to me," the man says as what appears to be Taliban members approach him.

In the chaos he says the word "airport" before what sound like gunshots ring out and screams are heard. 

The video was shared online by doctor and human rights advocate Saleem Javed.

"Taliban brutality continues while their fighters try to prevent people from fleeing. This video shows how they brutally beat Hazara men and women who try to leave," he wrote alongside the clip.

"This man injured by the Taliban says he is an Australian citizen trying to get to Kabul airport."

Australians warned of possible 'terror attack' at airport

The federal government has warned Australians and Afghan visa holders not to travel to Kabul airport where rescue flights have been the only passage out of the war-torn nation.

"Our clear travel advice is now, do not travel to Hamid Karzai International Airport and if you are in the area of the airport, moved to a safe location and await further advice. Afghanistan remains highly volatile and dangerous," Foreign Minister Marise Payne told reporters on Thursday. 

"Be aware of the potential for violence and security threats with large crowds. There is an ongoing and very high threat of a terrorist attack. That is the revised travel advice which we have issued," she said.

At the same press conference, both the foreign minister and prime minister Scott Morrison were asked about the video. 

"Those scenes are deeply distressing and have unfortunately been replicated a number of times in the last days and week in relation to a whole range of individuals trying to seek evacuation," Ms Payne said.

Mr Morrison wouldn't comment specifically on the case of the man in the video but said the government had been working hard "to get as many people out, as safely as we can".

"We have to deal with the reality, the terrible, brutal and awful reality of the situation on the ground," he said.

Australian evacuations continue as deadline looms

Australia will rescue people from Afghanistan for as long as it can before the United States' deadline expires.

The Taliban has told the US it must keep the August 31 deadline to withdraw remaining troops, after 20 years in Afghanistan.

Australia has extracted some 4000 people from Kabul as part of ongoing efforts to rescue citizens and visa holders.

Ms Payne says the scenes are "highly distressing" and human rights advocates warn people left behind could die.

US Air Force loadmasters and pilots load people being evacuated from Afghanistan onto a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Tuesday. Source: AAP
The US Air Force load people being evacuated from Afghanistan onto a troop carrier in Kabul on Tuesday. Source: AAP

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Australia would continue to get people out of Kabul for as long as possible.

"The situation there is absolutely diabolical so we will do what we can for as long as we can," she said.

Australia will continue to offer people refuge, after the rescue operation ends, through 3000 humanitarian places.

Paul Power, head of the Refugee Council of Australia, said the government should open up more places and also urged Pakistan and Iran to keep borders open for people trying to flee persecution in Afghanistan.

"Members of Australia's Afghan diaspora are hearing directly from family members and friends about terrible violence within the country," he said.

"There are many reports of executions and forced marriages of young women and girls occurring right now."

He said permanent protection was needed for the 4300 Afghans on temporary protection visas in Australia, recognising that members of this group were unlikely to be able to return in safety for many years to come.

with AAP

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