As the last US plane carrying Americans from Afghanistan departed, the Taliban on Tuesday engaged in celebratory gunfire in Kabul. Hundreds of bullets were seen flying into the sky as the US completed the withdrawal of its forces from the country, after 20 years of military presence.
Parts of Kabul erupted in celebratory gunfire after the last US C-17 aircraft lifted off from Hamid Karzai International Airport shortly after the last aircraft departed, CNN reported.
Taliban Fighters Were Seen Wearing US Army Uniforms
Reports claimed at least two Taliban militants were shot dead during the celebrations.
Video shot by a reporter for the Los Angeles Times showed Taliban fighters, wearing US army uniforms, entering a former US military hangar at the airport and inspecting the helicopters inside.
Photos showed the fighters taking control of the airport and inspecting equipment left behind by the Americans. Reports said they were securing the perimeter, moving barricades, unlocking the airport gates and making an inventory of supplies, according to The Guardian.
Taliban Hails Withdrawal of US Forces As a 'Historic Moment'
"The last US soldier has left Kabul airport and our country gained complete independence," Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf said.
"The last five aircraft have left, it's over!" said Hemad Sherzad, a Taliban fighter stationed at Kabul's international airport. "I cannot express my happiness in words. ... Our 20 years of sacrifice worked."
We Did Not Get Everybody Out that We Wanted to Get Out: Head of US Central Command
In Washington, Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, announced the completion of America's longest war and the evacuation effort, saying the last planes took off from Kabul airport at 3:29 p.m. EDT â one minute before midnight Monday in Kabul, according to AP.
"We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out. But I think if we stayed another 10 days, we would not get everybody out that we wanted to get out. And there still would have been people disappointed. It's a tough situation."
President Joe Biden set a deadline of August 31 for the withdrawal earlier this year. The final withdrawal effort was marked by a terror attack last week in which 13 US service members were killed and several Afghans were killed.
Meanwhile, Biden will address the American people on US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan on Tuesday, reported ANI.