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Photos Capture The Disintegration Of Kabul As Thousands Try To Flee

Above image: Afghan people climb atop a plane as they wait at the Kabul airport on Aug. 16. 

Thousands of people flooded Kabul’s airport on Monday after Taliban insurgents overtook the capital, igniting fears of a return to the harsh version of Islamic rule of law and persecution of those who worked for Afghanistan’s former government or its security services.

Stunning photos taken at the Hamid Karzai International Airport captured Afghans’ panic, as they hauled their family members over barbed-wired walls and desperately clung to departing airplanes, some ultimately falling to their deaths. Similar evacuation attempts were being made on the ground at the country’s border, which is now controlled by the Taliban.

The horrors mark the end to a two-decade campaign, led by U.S. troops, to create a Western-backed government in the country. 

Here are some of the photos taken amid the chaos.



Thousands of Afghans rush to the Hamid Karzai International Airport as they try to flee the Afghan capital of Kabul on Aug. 16.



A U.S. soldier points his gun toward an Afghan passenger at the Kabul airport on Aug. 16.



A volunteer carries an injured man as other people can be seen waiting at the Kabul airport on Aug. 16.



U.S. soldiers take up their positions as they secure the airport in Kabul on Aug. 16.



Thousands of Afghans rush to the Hamid Karzai International Airport as they try to flee Kabul on Aug. 16. 



Afghans at the Hamid Karzai International Airport try to flee Kabul on Aug. 16. 



Afghan passengers sit as they wait to leave the Kabul airport on Aug. 16. 



Afghan people climb on a plane and sit by the door as they wait at the Kabul airport on Aug. 16. 



U.S. soldiers rest as Afghan people (not pictured) wait to leave the Kabul airport on Aug. 16. 



Afghan people wait to leave the Kabul airport on Aug. 16. 



An Afghan crowd at the airport as U.S. soldiers stand guard in Kabul on Aug. 16.



Afghan people sit along the tarmac as they wait to leave the Kabul airport on Aug. 16. 



Afghans crowd the Kabul airport on Aug. 16 to flee the country as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.



Afghan families walk by the aircrafts at the Kabul airport on Aug. 16.



Taliban members are seen near Hamid Karzai International Airport as thousands of Afghans rush to flee Kabul on Aug. 16. 



An Afghan child walks near military uniforms as he along with elders wait to leave the Kabul airport on Aug. 16.



U.S. soldiers stand guard at the Kabul airport on Aug. 16.

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