Photos: U.S.-run airlift from Taliban-occupied Kabul picks up pace but faces daunting problems

Photos: U.S.-run airlift from Taliban-occupied Kabul picks up pace but faces daunting problems

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KABUL, Afghanistan — Faced with mounting criticism of its chaotic exit from Afghanistan, the U.S. and its allies Friday stepped up evacuation efforts from the Afghan capital, Kabul, where thousands of desperate people ringed the airport even as a semblance of normality returned to other parts of the city.

With bedlam at the airport a daily event since the Taliban’s takeover of the capital on Sunday, , even those with permission to leave have faced a gantlet of crushing crowds and edgy Taliban fighters using truncheons, sticks, whips, rifle butts and bullets to disperse people around the airport’s environs.

A Taliban fighter keeps Afghans from crossing and explains the process of a checkpoint passage before the road that leads to the military entrance of the airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

(Marcus Yam/Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Taliban fighters mobilize to control a crowd that is rallying to raise the national flag

Taliban fighters mobilize to control a crowd that is rallying to raise the national flag of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during a rally for Independence Day at Pashtunistan Square in Kabul, Afghanistan.

(Marcus Yam/Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Afghans make their way the road to the military entrance of the airport for evacuations, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Afghans make their way the road to the military entrance of the airport for evacuations, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Afghans make their way the road to the military entrance of the airport for evacuations, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Afghans make their way the road to the military entrance of the airport for evacuations, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Afghans make their way the road to the military entrance of the airport for evacuations, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Afghans make their way the road to the military entrance of the airport for evacuations, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

(Marcus Yam/Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

A U.S. Marine grabs an infant over a fence of barbed wire during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport

A U.S. Marine grabs an infant over a fence of barbed wire during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

(OMAR HAIDIRI)

A U.S. Marine airmen comforts an infant during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan

A U.S. Marine airmen comforts an infant during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.

(Sgt. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marine Corps)

US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport

US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021.

(WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP )

Turkish soldiers help a father as people waiting for evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Turkish soldiers help a father as people waiting for evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

(Aykut Karadag/Anadolu Agency )

U.S. Marines assist with security at an evacuation control checkpoint during an evacuation

U.S. Marines assist with security at an evacuation control checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.

(Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/U.S. Marine Corps)

A U.S. Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) provides fresh water to a child during an evacuation

A U.S. Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) provides fresh water to a child during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 20. 2021.

(Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps )

Turkish soldiers calm a woman down after she realized she lost her passport as people waiting for evacuation

Turkish soldiers calm a woman down after she realized she lost her passport as people waiting for evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

(Aykut Karadag/Anadolu Agency )

British and Turkish coalition forces, along with U.S. Marines, assist a child during an evacuation

British and Turkish coalition forces, along with U.S. Marines, assist a child during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.

(Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/U.S. Marine Corps)

Afghan people sit inside a U S military aircraft to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul.

Afghan people sit inside a U S military aircraft to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul.

(SHAKIB RAHMANI/AFP )

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