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News > Afghanistan

Kabul Airport Survivors Say Some Civilians Killed by US Bullets

  • People injured at the airport attacks, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 27, 2021.

    People injured at the airport attacks, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 27, 2021. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 30 August 2021

International outlets have collected testimonies from Afghans who claim the post-blast shooting was caused by the U.S. soldiers.

After the suicide blast which killed some 170 Afghan people and 13 U.S. soldiers at the Kabul airport on Thursday, some survivors have raised the possibility that some Afghans were actually killed by U.S. fire amid the chaos.


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"The blast was followed by gunshots and due to the firing, my hand was injured outside the airport," said Kamyad lying on a hospital bed on Monday. "No other armed men except the U.S. soldiers were in the area when the shooting took place... Under a rain of bullets, everyone was trying to escape the tragic scene."

On Saturday, BBC reporter Secunder Kermani posted a video in which Afghan civilians were interviewed at the Kabul airport. "Many we spoke to, including eyewitnesses, said significant numbers of those killed were shot dead by U.S. forces in the panic after the blast," Kermani said.

In the video, a brother of a London taxi driver called Mohammed Niazi said Mohammed was at the airport with his wife and two daughters to help his family evacuate from Afghanistan, yet the couple lost their lives in the attack, and their two daughters went missing.

"Somehow, I saw an U.S. soldier and beside him there were Turkish soldiers," the brother said, adding that "The fire came from the bridges, like the towers." "From the soldiers?" Kermani asked. "Yeah, from the soldiers," the interviewee said.

Nouma Hamid was another man killed in the attack. "The guy has served the U.S. army for year," said a friend showing Hamid's ID card. "He wasn't killed by the Taliban, he wasn't killed by ISIS. The U.S. army started shelling." When asked why he was so sure that Hamid was killed by U.S. fire instead of the bombing, the man said, "The bullet went inside his head, near to his ear."

The U.S. Department of Defense has given no response to the BBC's question about the firing. Echoing the bullet trajectory theory, online channel Faisal of Kabul Lovers posted a video which was retweeted with English subtitles by Sangar Paykhar of Podcast Afghan Eye on Saturday. In the video, a medical worker at an emergency hospital in Kabul said that many victims from the airport were shot from an upper-front angle, "striking sculls, necks and chests.

The Pentagon said there was firing from ISIS-K gunmen after the bombing, and called the gunfire at the airport gate "a complex attack." However, there were doubts about how the ISIS-K fighters could launch such a massive attack at the heavily-fortified airport area and why no dead bodies of the fighters have been found, as well as about the bullets' suspicious trajectories.

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