Afghan Guard Killed in Firefight at Kabul Airport, Says German Military

By Simon Veazey
Simon Veazey
Simon Veazey
Freelance Reporter
Simon Veazey is a UK-based journalist who has reported for The Epoch Times since 2006 on various beats, from in-depth coverage of British and European politics to web-based writing on breaking news.
August 23, 2021 Updated: August 23, 2021

German and U.S. soldiers have been involved in a firefight at Kabul airport between Afghan guards and an unidentified gunman, according to Germany’s military.

One Afghan guard was killed in the exchange of fire on Aug. 23, which according to CNN began when a sniper outside the airport fired at Afghan security forces, who are assisting U.S. and international troops at the airport.

Twenty people have died in the chaos at the airport in recent days as crowds of Afghans and foreigners throng the gates and perimeters, following a lightning victory for the Taliban. Some have been trampled to death as they try to escape the country in fear of reprisals for assisting Western troops.

Two NATO officials at the airport said the situation was under control following the firefight.

U.S. and German forces were involved in the clash, Germany’s military said. Three Afghan guards were being treated at a field hospital in the airport, it said.

Taliban members beat back crowds at the airport on Aug. 22, the day after seven died in a crush at the airport gates, desperate to board the last planes before the final withdrawal of foreign troops in one week’s time.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tomorrow appeal to U.S. President Joe Biden for an extension to the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline during an emergency G-7 meeting, according to UK armed forces minister James Heappey.

Biden has previously indicated that troops may stay past the deadline to oversee the evacuation.

A Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary unit
A Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary unit passes out water to evacuees during the evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport during the evacuation in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 21, 2021. (Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marine Corps via Getty Images)

However, the Taliban has now warned that there would be “consequences” if Biden delays that withdrawal.

Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told Sky News: “It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that.”

He added: “If the U.S. or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations—the answer is no. Or there would be consequences.”

“It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction.”

The Taliban has begun talks on forming a government, while its forces focus on the last pockets of opposition and its spokesmen try to paint a picture of a more moderate, tolerant regime than the one of 20 years ago.

Anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Massoud said on Aug. 23 he hoped to hold talks with the Taliban, but that his forces were ready to fight in the Panjshir valley.

The Panjshir valley, a stronghold of Taliban opponents, is now surrounded by Taliban forces, which have also retaken three districts in the northern province of Baghlan, which opposition forces briefly captured.

Reuters and PA contributed to this report.

Simon Veazey
Simon Veazey
Freelance Reporter
Simon Veazey is a UK-based journalist who has reported for The Epoch Times since 2006 on various beats, from in-depth coverage of British and European politics to web-based writing on breaking news.