Shots earlier reported to have been fired at an Italian military plane evacuating Afghans from Kabul are now thought to have been used to disperse a crowd on the ground.
Military sources had told Italian news agency ANSA that a C-130 transport carrying Afghan ex-Nato workers out of Kabul was fired on as it left the airport.
An Italian journalist travelling on the flight told Sky 24 TG that the plane had been carrying almost 100 Afghan civilians when it came under fire minutes after take off.
“The pilot reacted promptly and implemented manoeuvres to avoid being hit within minutes of taking off from Kabul. There was a bit of panic,” said the journalist.
No damage or injuries have been reported.
However, Reuters has reported that an Italian intelligence source now believes the shots were fired in the air as a means to disperse cvast crowds at the airport, rather than directly towards the plane departing.
The incident comes as growing tension builds in the Afghan capital as the US-led evacuation of foreign nationals and Afghans with visas enters its final days before a 31 August deadline.
Last night the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed it had flown more than 11,400 people to safety from Kabul INternational Airport since 13 August.