It’s been just days since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. And the picture of what life is like in the capital Kabul is still evolving. Here’s what we know.
Chaos continues around the airport:
People have been thronging the airport in a bid to flee as countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, try to evacuate their own citizens and some Afghan nationals looking for protection. The Taliban is outside the airport, in charge of crowd control, CNN’s Clarissa Ward reports.
“They’ve been whipping people … firing shots in the air, firing shots at people,” she said. “Inside the airport, it appears less chaotic because it is having some effect … But, on the perimeter, it is, of course, incredibly intimidating for people who desperately want to leave this country. And they’re fearful that the Taliban won’t even let them pass those checkpoints.”
Many are scared for their life and want to flee the country:
A member of former president Ashraf Ghani’s security detail says he has been receiving threatening messages from the Taliban and believes he and his family will be killed.
He is desperate to flee the country but says, “I don’t even know how to begin doing my paperwork. I don’t have an internet connection. I’m moving house every night. I’m sleeping on floors. I’m trying to keep my children alive,” Ward reported.
There are “far fewer Taliban checkpoints on the streets” of Kabul today:
“It’s definitely a smaller footprint than what we had seen previously,” she said, adding that there is a steady stream of traffic on the roads, basic services are running.
People can get food, fuel and a number of other things on the streets.
All this points to the fact that “the Taliban understood how important it was to keep this city running, to keep things functioning, to show that they can govern,” Ward explained.
“They know the world is watching, and they want to show that they can pull this off. And I think that’s why they’re a lot savvier than they were before … They’re trying to provide some law and order. They’re even lightening their footprint a little bit on the ground today, trying to get people to feel more at ease, that their presence isn’t threatening. But as I said before 100 times now, that is not enough to assuage the fears of people who worked with the Americans, and who now believe that their lives are in very real danger.”
Watch Ward report from Kabul here: