A dramatic photo shows hundreds of Afghans crammed into a fleeing US Air Force plane as it leaves Kabul after the fall of the capital to the Taliban.
The Afghan citizens, believed to be 640 people in total, had been cleared to evacuate and crowded inside the C-17 Globemaster II cargo jet on Sunday.
The packed plane, carrying far more than the aircraft’s designated load of passengers, safely arrived at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, according to US defence officials.
The first German rescue flight has been criticised as it only picked up seven people, by comparison.
Multiple flights were able to take off with hundreds on board, with reports suggesting others may have carried even more passengers.
Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport descended into chaos on Monday as desperate Afghans tried to flee the Taliban after its lightning-quick takeover of the country.
Aerial photos show thousands of people on the tarmac at the airport and massive traffic jams outside it.
Shocking footage showed hundreds of people running alongside a plane as it prepared for take-off and some people even clinging to its side. Harrowingly, footage appears to show three people falling to their deaths after the plane took off.
Many Afghans are desperate to leave the country while others are nervously waiting to find out what Taliban rule will be like, after the militant group swiftly took over the country following the withdrawal of US forces.