A week after the Taliban takeover, at least 28,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan, but tens of thousands more are still waiting.
Thousands of people have tried to flee Afghanistan, with many crushed to death, as Afghans fear reprisals and a return to a strict rule under the Taliban, which retook the country last weekend after two decades.
Crowds have grown at the airport in the heat and dust over the past week, hindering operations as the United States and other nations attempt to evacuate thousands of their diplomats and civilians as well as numerous Afghans who worked for them.
Mothers, fathers and children have pushed up against concrete blast walls in the crush as they seek to get a flight out.
According to official statements and local reports, at least 28,000 people have been evacuated so far.
The US, which has stationed thousands of troops to secure the airport, has set a deadline to complete the evacuations by August 31. But there are up to 15,000 Americans and 50,000 to 60,000 Afghan allies who need to be evacuated, according to the Biden administration.
Army Major General William Taylor, with the US military’s Joint Staff, told a Pentagon briefing that 5,800 US troops remain at the airport and that the facility “remains secure”.
Abdul Qahar Balkhi from the Taliban’s Cultural Commission blamed the US for the chaos at the airport, in an interview with Al Jazeera.
“It is very unfortunate for people to be rushing to the airport the way they are at the moment,” Balkhi said.
“We have announced a general amnesty for everyone, in the security forces from the senior to the junior level. This fear, this hysteria that has taken place is unfounded,” he added.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday said 13 countries have thus far agreed to at least temporarily host at-risk Afghans evacuated from Afghanistan.
Blinken said in a statement that potential Afghan refugees not already cleared for resettlement in the United States will be housed at facilities in Albania, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Rwanda, Ukraine and Uganda.
Transit countries include Bahrain, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Qatar, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.
President Joe Biden is expected to provide an update on Sunday on the evacuation of American citizens and refugees from Afghanistan, the White House said.