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Body of Afghan Found in Plane's Landing Gear

Grim discovery comes as Kabul airport reopens after chaos Monday shut it down
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2021 1:58 PM CDT
New US Goal: One Flight Every Hour Out of Kabul
People gather outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Planes are flying out of the Kabul airport again after Monday's bedlam forced a temporary shutdown. In fact, the US plans to dramatically increase the speed of evacuations over the next 24 hours, reports the Hill. The goal is to roll out one flight per hour, which could evacuate up to 9,000 people per day, said Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor of the Joint Staff. A handful of commercial flights are still operating, but the vast majority are those operated by governments, per CNBC. Meanwhile, a disturbing discovery further illustrates the desperation of some Afghans to flee the country—the remains of a person were discovered in the landing gear of an Air Force C-17 that took off from the airport on Monday, reports Politico.

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The person was apparently one of several who clung to the plane as it departed; others fell to their deaths after the jet took flight. One reason for the desperation: CNBC notes that few Afghans have passports or travel visas, without which they cannot legally leave the country. As for Americans, the situation remains chaotic as well. The State Department has set up a hot line for staffers, but the message reflects how frantic things are. "Do not call the US Embassy in Kabul for details or updates about the flight," says the recording. "Do not travel to the airport until you have been informed by email that departure options exist." (A "stunning" image emerged of more than 600 Afghans crammed onto a single C-17 flight.)

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