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A French citizen evacuated from Afghanistan recounted her “frenzied” trip to Kabul airport, saying money had to be paid to the Taliban for her group of foreigners to get to the airport.

Victoria Fontan, professor of peace and conflict studies at the American University of Afghanistan, told Euronews that the Taliban had put her and other members of her group under house arrest and returned us. almost impossible to access the airport.

“From start to finish, it wasn’t certain that we could actually get to the airport even as internationals,” Fontan said.

She is one of tens of thousands who have been evacuated from Afghanistan since August 14.

“There is a special official, appointed by the Taliban to ensure what they call the safe passage of internationals to the airport. But it really is extortion more than anything else,” she told Euronews.

“They searched us until they took everything from us, even the radios at the end. And then they put us on buses and we were left at one of the gates of the airport, luckily, one of the less crowded airport gates, ”she explained, saying it took two hours to get into the airport.

She called the experience “heartbreaking” as people desperately begged to be allowed into the airport.

“We knew we were the chosen few who could run away, but everyone else was absolutely desperate to be with us on these buses and we just couldn’t take them,” Fontan said.

“It breaks my heart that the Afghans have stood side by side with us for 20 years. We promised them a different life. They worked for us. They suffered with us.

_ Watch the full interview in the video player above.