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Live updates: US officials say 7 killed in Kabul airport evacuation chaos

Live updates: US officials say 7 killed in Kabul airport evacuation chaos

Video shows people clinging to the fuselage of a US military aircraft as it taxied at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. CNN has reached out to the US military for comment.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Senior U.S. military officials say the chaos at the Kabul airport this morning left seven people dead, including some who fell from a departing American military transport jet.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss ongoing operations.

Afghans rushed onto the tarmac of the capital’s airport on Monday as thousands tried to flee the country after the Taliban seized power with stunning speed. Some clung to the side of a U.S. military plane before takeoff, in a widely shared video that captured the sense of desperation as America’s 20-year war comes to a chaotic end.

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Another video showed the Afghans falling as the plane gained altitude over Kabul.

The Latest: Hamas congratulates Taliban on Afghan takeover

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WASHNGTON — A U.S. defense official says the head of Central Command has met face-to-face with senior Taliban leaders to urge their fighters not to interfere with the U.S. military’s evacuation operations at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.

The official said that in the meeting on Sunday in Doha, Qatar, Gen. Frank McKenzie won Taliban agreement to establish a “deconfliction mechanism” — an arrangement by which evacuation operations at the airport can continue without interference by the new rulers of the country.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive talks not yet announced publicly. The official said McKenzie urged the Taliban not to interfere with the evacuation and said the U.S. military would respond forcefully to defend the airport if necessary.

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Gunfire can be heard going off at the Kabul International Airport in a new video that shows people running toward the terminal. Another video shows people scrambling onto planes to escape Afghanistan as the Taliban take over. CNN cannot independently verify some of these images.

WASHINGTON — U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says the failure of the Afghan military is to blame for the Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan.

Sullivan said Monday that President Joe Biden didn’t want the U.S. to enter a “third decade of conflict” in Afghanistan and believed it was time for the Afghan army to defend the country two decades after billions of dollars of investment and training by the U.S.

But Sullivan said, “we could not give them the will and ultimately they decided that they would not fight for Kabul.”

He added that the “worst-case scenario” for the U.S. would be to send thousands of troops to fight in a civil war when the Afghan army “wasn’t prepared to fight itself.”

Sullivan says Biden faced “bad choices” on the subject. The president ultimately opted to bring U.S. troops home and leave the Afghans to fight for themselves.

He says “it’s heartbreaking” to see what’s happening in Kabul but that Biden “stands by” his decision.

Sullivan spoke Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and NBC’s “Today.”

Here’s the latest:

Rush on Kabul airport as Afghans flee Taliban takeover

Biden team surprised by rapid Taliban gains in Afghanistan

Taliban take over Afghanistan: What we know and what’s next

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PHOTO GALLERY

Photos: Taliban sweep into Afghan capital after government collapses

APTOPIX Afghanistan

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
Zabi Karimi

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
Zabi Karimi

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
Zabi Karimi

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
Zabi Karimi

APTOPIX Afghanistan

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
Zabi Karimi

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
Zabi Karimi

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
Zabi Karimi

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Zabi Karimi)
Zabi Karimi

Afghanistan

Afghans sit on the wall as people wait for hours to withdraw money, in front of Kabul Bank, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Officials say Taliban fighters have entered Kabul and are seeking the unconditional surrender of the central government. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul

Pakistan Afghanistan

Stranded people arrive to cross the border into Afghanistan, at a border crossing in Chaman, Pakistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Normally thousands of Afghans and Pakistanis cross daily and a steady stream of trucks passes through, taking goods to land-locked Afghanistan from the Arabian Sea port city of Karachi in Pakistan. (AP Photo/Jafar Khan)
Jafar Khan

Pakistan Afghanistan

Stranded people arrive to try to cross the border into Afghanistan, at a border crossing in Chaman, Pakistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Normally thousands of Afghans and Pakistanis cross daily and a steady stream of trucks passes through, taking goods to land-locked Afghanistan from the Arabian Sea port city of Karachi in Pakistan. (AP Photo/Jafar Khan)
Jafar Khan

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters pose for a photograph in the city of Kandahar, southwest Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Sidiqullah Khan)
Sidiqullah Khan

APTOPIX Afghanistan

A man sells Taliban flags in Herat province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Hamed Sarfarazi)
Hamed Sarfarazi

APTOPIX Afghanistan

A U.S. Chinook helicopter flies over the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Helicopters are landing at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul as diplomatic vehicles leave the compound amid the Taliban advanced on the Afghan capital. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul

APTOPIX Afghanistan

Smoke rises next to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Taliban fighters entered the outskirts of the Afghan capital on Sunday, further tightening their grip on the country as panicked workers fled government offices and helicopters landed at the embassy. Wisps of smoke could be seen near the embassy’s roof as diplomats urgently destroyed sensitive documents, according to two American military officials. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul

Afghanistan

Afghans wait in long lines for hours to get visas in front of the Iranian embassy, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Officials say Taliban fighters have entered Kabul and are seeking the unconditional surrender of the central government. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul

Afghanistan

Afghans wait in long lines for hours to withdraw money, in front of Kabul Bank, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Officials say Taliban fighters have entered Kabul and are seeking the unconditional surrender of the central government. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul

Afghanistan

Smoke rises next to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters raise their flag at the Ghazni provincial governor’s house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri)
Gulabuddin Amiri

Afghanistan

The Taliban flag flies at the Ghazni provincial governor’s house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri)
Gulabuddin Amiri

Afghanistan

Taliban flags fly on the gate of Ghazni provincial governor’s house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri)
Gulabuddin Amiri

Afghanistan

The Taliban flag flies at the Ghazni provincial governor’s house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri)
Gulabuddin Amiri

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters raise their flag at the Ghazni provincial governor’s house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri)
Gulabuddin Amiri

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters raise their flag at the Ghazni provincial governor’s house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri)
Gulabuddin Amiri

Afghanistan

Lights are on at the U.S. Embassy buildings after nightfall, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Rahmat Gul

India Afghanistan

An Afghan national is mobbed by media person for byte as he arrives at Indira Gandhi International airport by Air India special flight from Kabul, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Dinesh Joshi)
Dinesh Joshi

Afghanistan

Taliban fighters poses for a photograph while raising their flag Taliban fighters raise their flag at the Ghazni provincial governor’s house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri)

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