The dramatic moment when Taliban fighters attacked a CNN reporter and brandished AK-47s at his crew while demanding that they cover their faces was caught on camera.
Clarissa Ward was reporting from Kabul airport on Wednesday when she was approached by a Taliban fighter holding a baton and demanded through an interpreter that she hide her face.
She told viewers that he was saying that the United States is to blame for the chaotic scenes in which Afghans try to enter the airport and flee the country.
“The cause of all this is the United States in Afghanistan,” he reportedly told him.
Look at these people. The United States really is acting unfairly towards them. Why do they lie and tell them they can go to the United States? Why don’t you stay and help your country? “
Ward was reportedly then told that the fighter did not want to speak to her.
She tells viewers that her crew is leaving to avoid confrontation, but that they were followed by Afghans desperate to show their paperwork and ask for help accessing the airport.
“I don’t want this guy to spank you,” he tells a man as he asks him to move forward and more angry Taliban fighters approach.
“He worked in American camps and cannot enter the airport,” he says.
“The Taliban fighters are a bit upset with us,” Ward continues.
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She and the crew decide to return to the car as the Taliban fighters unlock their AK47s and push their way through the crowd.
Ward is urged to “stay behind him [the fighter]. “
“These Taliban fighters are high on adrenaline or I don’t know what, it’s a very dangerous situation,” he says before they suddenly rush in.
The Taliban are seen raising the tips of their rifles at CNN producer Brent Swailes.
“When the combatants are told that we have permission to report, they put down their weapons and let us pass,” Ward says of the images, as his team is shown running towards the car.
“You can imagine, this is us, a news team, clearly Western, and still exposed to the madness,” he says.
“If you are an ordinary Afghan trying to break through the Taliban guards and try to get into the airport, I really don’t see how you can get in unless you have some kind of contact or connection, but the infrastructure is not enough. I’m not really in the place to do that.
“As a result, you have all these poor people sitting outside the airport for days and days and it is their last hope, but there is no real hope.”
It comes just days after Taliban fighters threatened to whip Swailes with a whip while he was conducting another report with Ward.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden was accused of telling “outright lies” while defending his handling of the crisis in Afghanistan in an interview about a car accident over Kabul.
The president took photos showing stowaways falling to their deaths while trying to escape the Taliban on American planes.
Biden did not appear to show any regrets after chaotic scenes in Kabul in which US diplomats were hastily evacuated as insurgents seized the capital on Sunday.
BIDEN SLAMMED ON CHAOS
Critics compared the withdrawal to the “fall of Saigon” in 1975 that ended the Vietnam War.
Biden told ABC on Wednesday: “No, I don’t think it could have been handled in such a way that we’re going to go back in retrospect and look.
“But the idea that somehow there is a way out without chaos, I don’t know how that happens. I don’t know how it happened.”
Biden was investigated in footage of the chaos seen at the Kabul airport earlier this week that saw stowaways fall to their deaths and desperate Afghans crushed in a stampede.
He told George Stephanopoulos: “That was four days ago, five days ago!”
The president said he thought “we had to control this” when he first saw the scenes emerging from Kabul.
He said, “We have to move this faster. We have to move in a way that we can take control of that airport. And we did.”
Biden also told ABC that troops would remain in Afghanistan beyond Aug. 31 if not all Americans had been evacuated by that date.
Last month, the president said that the US military mission in the war-torn country would have ended by that date.
He previously vowed to bring all American troops home before the 20th anniversary of September 11.