President Biden is back at the White House, has been briefed by national security team on Afghanistan

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is back at the White House to address the nation and the world on the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.

The President cut short his vacation at Camp David in Maryland to deliver remarks at 3.45 p.m. from the White House.

Before returning to Washington, Mr. Biden was briefed by his national security team, according to a statement released by the White House.

“This morning, the President was briefed by his national security team, including the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman Milley, on the security situation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, and ongoing efforts to safely evacuate American citizens, US Embassy personnel and local staff, SIV applicants and their families, and other vulnerable Afghans,” read the White House statement.

Thousands of Afghans fearing a return to Taliban rule are trying to flee the country via Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Videos circulating on social media have shown hundreds of people racing across the tarmac as U.S. soldiers fired warning shots in the air; a crowd pushing and shoving its way up a staircase trying to board a plane; and dozens clinging to the sides of planes attempting to take off. 

According to a statement by the airport authority, all commercial flights have been suspended. Kabul airport was overwhelmed on Sunday night, with more than 2,000 people hoping to board commercial flights leaving the country according to media reports. 

At least five people have reportedly been killed in Kabul airport as hundreds of people tried to forcibly enter planes. It is not clear whether the victims were killed by gunshots or in a stampede. US troops are currently in charge of the airport and overseeing ongoing efforts to evacuate US nationals.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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