Live Afghanistan news: US forces leave Kabul amid ‘increased risks’ – while UK works to keep airport open after deadline | world News

The latest on the ground: Afghans know time is ticking for evacuations

The usual low-key roar of thousands of people talking, screaming and begging on the other side of the wall mounted is quieter than usual. Sky chief correspondent Stuart Ramsey in Kabul.

I came out of the iron gates to see huge numbers of people waiting in the scorching sun for a sign that they might enter the British evacuation complex.

They seem calmer than usual, as if they know their chances of reaching safety are slipping away. They are right. This airlift is about to be completed soon.

Away from the British entrance, I walk towards the noise of more people. They are not suppressed, they are in complete panic. This is the massive queue of people who could still be successful, if only they could get someone to look at their papers.

The hours are counting down to the August 31 withdrawal deadline, and they know it.

Such is the desperation that the soldiers must hear, watching the evacuees stand knee-deep in a canal filled with sewage. The stench is indescribable.

What amazes me every time I’m outside is how many very young children can put up with all of this – it’s really heartbreaking.

It must be so, very scary for them. It’s noisy – there are gunshots and screaming all the time.

I see a little boy sitting in his father’s arms, protected from the sun by an umbrella, having a stroke every now and then to calm him. I wonder what he’s thinking. All his father could really do was console him.

And so this process continues. What matters is discussed and agreed thousands of miles from here.

But until someone says it’s over, those who want to leave will keep trying and keep hoping. That’s all they left.

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