Locals in Kabul have said they feel “completely broken” after hearing explosions kill their fellow Afghans in the capital on Thursday.
According to local officials, at least 60 Afghans and 143 others wounded in the two blasts near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport – where people have been gathering in their thousands in recent days in efforts to board flights away from the Taliban takeover.
Fatima, a student from Kabul University, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, said she is “99%” sure her friend who was at the airport died in the blast.
The 22-year-old had tried to convince her friend to leave the area, after US authorities issued a warning on Wednesday that there was a high risk of a terror attack there.
She shared a voice note with the PA news agency in which the friend said she would not leave.
“She said I suffered a lot… I will not leave even if I die,” Fatima said.
“The explosion was exactly at her location… (I) couldn’t reach her.”
Fatima said locals in Kabul are “panicked”, adding: “There is two (groups) of people… those near and around the airport and those sitting in their home and (accepting) everything.”
Sayed, whose name has also been changed, said he could hear the explosions from his home, which is not far from the airport.
“I don’t want to go out (of my home) anymore,” the 29-year-old student told the PA news agency.
“I just (wanted) to bring something for dinner after the first two blasts.
“I’m completely broken. Bored of life. Not just today but since Taliban take over.”
Sayed said after days spent outside the airport seeking evacuation “so many families” have now left the area.
“They planned to stay there for night but most of them left the area after the blasts,” he added.
“My friend tried to go to the airport but I didn’t let him go… as I have seen the situation… the Taliban (have been) beating people.
“The barber (on this street) has been beaten by the Taliban when he was coming to his shop from his home – Taliban thought he’s going to the airport.”