Afghanistan Interpreter Saw Children Die After Being Crushed by Mob of People at Airport

An Afghan man who served as an interpreter for United States forces put his kids on the top of a car to protect them from a horde of people at Kabul's airport, but he said other children weren't so lucky.

Throngs of people have rushed to the airport in the hopes of fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban's rapid takeover of the country. Evacuation flights are being conducted on a first-come, first-served basis, and government officials estimate that tens of thousands of people, including families, are trying to leave the country.

Mohammad Naim has been at the airport with his family for four days, waiting for his chance to catch a flight out of Kabul. He told the Associated Press he put his children on the roof of a car on his first day there so they wouldn't be crushed by the crowd. But he saw other children killed by the mob because they were unable to get out of the way.

"It is a very, very crazy situation right now," Naim said.

afghanistan airport kabul children crushed
An Afghan man said he put his children on top of a car to keep them from being crushed by a mob of people at Kabul's airport. Above, Afghans gather on a roadside near the military part of the airport on Friday in hopes of fleeing the country after the Taliban's takeover. Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images

The Biden administration doesn't have a firm count on how many Americans are in Afghanistan, as they're not required to register that they're living in a foreign country. However, President Joe Biden confirmed to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday that the estimates are between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans.

Besides Americans, Biden said, there are somewhere between 50,000 and 65,000 people who either helped Americans during the war or are family members of those who aided the U.S. military and hoping to get out of the country.

If the United States can increase the pace of evacuations to 5,000 or 7,000 people per day, Biden said, everyone should be able to fly out before August 31, the deadline for the U.S. exit from Afghanistan. If the U.S. is unable to secure release for everyone before that deadline, Biden said, he will evaluate who is left and determine if American troops should remain in Afghanistan in September.

The airport erupted into chaos after the Taliban took Kabul. Biden acknowledged that it took two days for the military to take control of the airport. However, footage from the ground continued to show people pushed up against the gates, pleading with the military to help them leave the country.

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles told Spanish public radio broadcaster RNE on Friday that her country's military transport planes are leaving partly empty. Robles added that "nobody's in control of the situation."