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KABUL (Reuters) –Thousands of civilians desperate to flee Afghanistan thronged Kabul airport on Monday after the Taliban seized the capital, prompting the U.S. military to suspend evacuations as the United States came under mounting criticism at home over its pullout.

Crowds converged on the airport seeking to escape, including some clinging to a U.S. military transport plane as it taxied on the runway, according to footage posted by a media company. Five people were killed in the chaos.

The Taliban’s rapid conquest of Kabul follows the U.S. withdrawal of troops after 20 years of war that cost billions of dollars.

President Joe Biden defended his decision to pull out, ending the United States’ longest war, arguing that Afghan forces had to fight back against the Islamist Taliban.

But the speed at which Afghan cities fell in just days and the likely crackdowns on freedom of speech and women’s rights gained in 20 years have sparked angry criticism.

“If President Biden truly has no regrets about his decision to withdraw, then he is disconnected from reality when it comes to Afghanistan,” a Twitter post from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham read…Read More

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