CNN producer nearly pistol-whipped by friendly Taliban

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A CNN reporter in Kabul, Afghanistan, said Taliban fighters attempted to attack her crew after they saw a producer filming the scene with his phone.

“Two Taliban fighters just came up with their pistols, and they were ready to pistol whip [the producer],” CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward said during an interview Wednesday. “We had to intervene and scream.”

Another Taliban fighter eventually intervened and stopped the attackers, explaining they were journalists, Ward said. She added that it was one of the scariest moments during her time reporting from Kabul

Related: CNN reports “Friendly” Taliban chanting ‘Death to America’ outside abandoned embassy


Ward also described the chaotic scene outside Hamid Karzai International Airport where fearful Afghan citizens and stranded foreign nationals including Americans are attempting to flee the nation. She said Taliban soldiers are making it extremely difficult for people to get through their checkpoints and to the airfield for evacuation.

“This was mayhem,” Ward said. “This was nuts. This was impossible for an ordinary civilian, even if they had their paperwork. No way they’re running that gauntlet. No way they’re going to be able to navigate that.”

On Sunday, the Taliban invaded Kabul, the nation’s capital, and the Afghan government officially collapsed. President Joe Biden ordered roughly 5,000 American troops to be sent to Kabul to secure the airport as thousands swarmed the airfield in a desperate attempt to leave the country.

While the U.S. and its allies secured the airport, the Taliban has maintained control of its perimeter, CBS News reported. U.S. nationals have been unable to get through the Taliban blockade and to their evacuation flights.

“We are working day by day to get as many people out,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Tuesday.

Sullivan wouldn’t comment on what the U.S. would do if the thousands of Americans stranded in Afghanistan couldn’t get to the airport.


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‘We Had To Intervene And Scream’: CNN Reporter Says Two Taliban Fighters Tried To ‘Pistol Whip’ Producer Recording Video

Thomas Catenacci on August 18, 2021