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12 have been killed at or near Kabul airport since Taliban takeover: officials

Click to play video: 'Security situation at Kabul airport currently ‘stable,’ Pentagon officials say'
Security situation at Kabul airport currently ‘stable,’ Pentagon officials say
WATCH: Security situation at Kabul airport currently ‘stable,’ Pentagon officials say – Aug 18, 2021

A total of 12 people have been killed in and around the airport in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Taliban and NATO officials said, since the Taliban seized the city on Sunday, triggering a rush of fearful people trying to leave.

The deaths were caused either by gun shots or in stampedes, the Taliban official said on Thursday, and he urged people still crowded at the gates of the facility to go home if they did not have the legal right to travel.

“We don’t want to hurt anyone at the airport,” said the Taliban official, who declined to be identified.

Read more: Canada has reached a deal for 2 military planes to resume ‘flying regularly’ into Kabul

Witnesses said Kabul’s airport was calm early on Thursday.

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In total, at least 8,000 people have been evacuated since Sunday, a Western security source in Kabul told Reuters.

A day earlier armed Taliban members prevented people from getting into the airport compound.

“It’s a complete disaster. The Taliban were firing into the air, pushing people, beating them with AK47s,” said one person who was trying to get through on Wednesday.

Another Taliban official said commanders and soldiers had fired into the air to disperse crowds outside Kabul airport.

Click to play video: 'U.S. says it expects Taliban to allow Afghans to evacuate safely'
U.S. says it expects Taliban to allow Afghans to evacuate safely

(Reporting by Kabul bureau Editing by Robert Birsel)

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