Afghanistan: British household’s ordeal escaping Taliban and securing passage house

2021-08-22 00:09:00

Threatened, held at gunpoint, and overwhelmed up by the Taliban; a household of 13 from London have spoken of their determined bid to get out of Kabul, having now reached security.

Sky Information solely adopted their plight as they lived by way of the uncertainty and trauma of being trapped within the Afghan metropolis.

Sabrallah Zahiri, from Hounslow, instructed Sky Information: “We’re so joyful now we acquired out and looking out ahead to getting again to the UK. Everybody desires to run away from this nation. All of them hate this nation; for my part this nation is completed it is by no means going to be prefer it was earlier than.”

Mr Zahiri and twelve different members of the family at the moment are protected at Kabul airport and ready for an RAF flight house.

The group had flown to Kabul from Heathrow in late July for a double wedding ceremony within the Afghan capital which occurred in early August.

They’d travelled with kids aged two and eight. Their flight was due again final Monday however was cancelled.

We first spoke to them on Tuesday when their world was caving in after members of the Taliban mustered outdoors their condominium and confiscated their automotive.

Mr Zahiri explains: “They mentioned ‘you need to give me the important thing’. I mentioned ‘why, it is my very own automotive not the federal government’s automotive?’ they usually mentioned, ‘we do not care’ they usually put a gun to my head, and I mentioned ‘okay, take it’.”

The household acquired in contact with the British consulate and was instructed to attend for a name to go to the airport.

They filmed the Taliban from their window and members of the family might be heard getting more and more upset as gunmen climb over fences in the direction of them.

On Wednesday, a number of armed members of the Taliban got here into the condominium and threatened the person who was housing them.

Mr Zahiri says: “The Taliban got here to the home and mentioned: ‘why are you preserving these guys in your house’ they got here from the UK and ‘you need to kick them out.'”

This family from London travelled to Afghanistan for a wedding
Picture:
This household from London travelled to Afghanistan for a marriage

The house owner, Ajmil Hibibi, Mr Zahiri’s uncle, refused to kick them out. He additionally made it to the security of the NATO managed compound, however the journey was stuffed with peril. Between his house and the airport was a gauntlet of checkpoints.

The household had watched movies of individuals being pressured again from the airport perimeter fence by troopers capturing over heads. It was hardly a journey anybody would select for a big household.

On Thursday they acquired a name from the embassy to go and set out. The roads had been clogged with others attempting to succeed in the airport and the sound of site visitors typically punctured with gunfire. On route they had been stopped by the Taliban.

Mr Zahiri’s brother, Abdul Wajed, instructed Sky Information: “We tried to go for the flight, however the Taliban attacked us, they usually hit me with a gun, with AK47 in the midst of my chest and I fell to the ground. They hit my uncle as properly.”

They returned to the condominium, disheartened, and terrified of what would occur subsequent.

They knew even when they acquired previous the Taliban the crush outdoors the airport was one other hazard. However on Friday night time, they risked one other journey, this time getting previous the Taliban, reaching the concrete partitions across the airport.

They spent hours in a single day with drained and tearful kids ready in darkness, working by way of the crowds till lastly they reached the entrance of the queue early on Saturday morning, relieved to have the ability to present their passports to members of the British Military.

That they had navigated essentially the most harmful journey of their lives – and had been overwhelmed by the distinction between the horrific therapy of the Taliban and the kindness of the British troopers who gave them meals and water.

They got here by way of the British military checkpoint simply hours earlier than a number of folks had been fatally crushed on the gates. The doorway closed behind them. For as soon as luck was on their facet – however many others are nonetheless ready, nonetheless calculating make it by way of.

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