An astonishing video has emerged from Kabul of a man, who says he is an Australian citizen, with blood dripping from his face.
In the footage, the man’s face is bloodied and he gasps for breath, while surrounded by a group of arm men.
“I’m an Australian citizen. They hit me,” he says.
“See this, this happened to me when I was trying to … airport.”
At that, another man approaches him, tries to grab the camera and tells him to “turn it off”.
“I am an Australian citizen. I am not Afghan. You cannot hit me,” the Australian man replies, speaking Dari.
The footage is circulating on social media, and the man – who is Hazara – is reportedly in hiding after his violent confrontation with the Taliban.
Most media is not naming the man, for fear of putting him in further danger. But the ABC reports it has seen a photo of an Australian passport in his name.
The man’s wife told the ABC she had been unable to contact her husband for hours after first seeing the video.
The shocking footage emerged after Australians and Afghan visa holders were urged not to travel to Kabul airport, where rescue flights have been the only passage out of the war-torn nation.
Another 1200 people were evacuated from Afghanistan on four Australian and one New Zealand flight overnight.
Almost 4000 Australians, Afghan visa holders and people from allied nations have been airlifted from chaos in the Afghan capital since the operation begun more than a week ago.
A fourth flight of evacuees arrived in Australia on Thursday morning, bringing the total number of people to arrive in the country from Kabul via Dubai to 639.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the number had far exceeded the government’s expectations going into the mission.
“It is a highly dangerous situation, we have been very honest about the nature of these challenges and the likelihood of being able to achieve everything that we would hope to achieve,” he said in Canberra.
“But we have to deal with the reality. The terrible, brutal and awful reality of the situation on the ground.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued new advice as the situation deteriorated further in the Afghan capital.
“Do not travel to Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport. If you’re in the area of the airport, move to a safe location and await further advice,” the department said.
“The situation in Afghanistan remains highly volatile and dangerous.
“Be aware of the potential for violence and security threats with large crowds. There’s an ongoing and very high threat of terrorist attack.”
Quizzed on the video of the Hazara man on Thursday, neither Mr Morrison nor Foreign Minister Marise Payne would say what the government was doing to help him, saying drawing more attention to his case could just mean more danger.
Senator Payne said the video was “deeply distressing”. There had been similar scenes “a number of times in the last days and weeks in relation to a whole range of individuals trying to seek evacuation”, she said.
“We have worked very closely with their advocates, their families, using countless telephone calls, countless direct contacts to try to bring them to points where they have been able to access Hamid Karzai International Airport,” she said.
The Taliban, which swept to power 10 days ago, claims western forces leaving Afghanistan will pave the way for people with documents to leave on commercial flights.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton said the regime made it clear they wanted foreign nationals out of Afghanistan by allowing people to leave the airport.
But Mr Dutton warned the Taliban would be judged on its actions rather than words.
“The last time they were in a position of authority or they exercised power it was in a very brutal way,” he told 2GB radio.
“Their treatment of women and young girls in particular is deplorable.
“We can only look at their actions and we won’t know that for some weeks now, but you would expect there would be retribution.”
Evacuation operations are expected to end on Tuesday, which is the US’s deadline to leave.
But the American military plans to focus on extracting its own troops in the final two days of the mission.