August 18, 2021

CNN's Clarissa Ward has been covering the Taliban takeover for CNN, and she reported the tense situation on the road to the airport as Afghans tried to flee.

“The most frightening moment for our team came when our producer Brent Swails was taking video on his iPhone and two Taliban fighters just came up with their pistols and they were ready to pistol-whip him,” she said. “We had to intervene and scream and it was actually another Taliban fighter who came in and said, ‘No no no, don’t do that, they’re journalists.’”

She called the situation in Kabul one of the most volatile she’s ever witnessed. “This was mayhem. This was nuts. This was impossible for an ordinary civilian, even if they have their paperwork, there’s no way they’re running that gauntlet.”

Ward also said the Taliban will largely let people pass through to the airport if they are foreigners, but not Afghans. That seems to have changed, according to NBC's Richard Engel.

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