Children left behind at Kabul airport while twins reach Britain in race against time to escape Taliban

Children left behind at Kabul airport while twins reach Britain in race against time to escape Taliban

August 24, 2021

UP to 1,000 children could be left behind during the urgent evacuations from Afghanistan – but two twin sisters have managed to make it safely to Britain.

Asna and Sana Hashimi, both five, are now preparing for a new life in England after making it out of Afghanistan.

They managed to escape the country just after the Taliban took over control following the fall of Kabul earlier this month.

Their dad Nooragha Hashimi – who worked as a translator with the Royal Engineers – said he would've been killed if he hadn't been on the RAF evacuation flight.

He told Sky News: "Everyone knows about me – 'He's an interpreter' – so that's why this was dangerous for me.

"Everybody was scared about what [the Taliban are] going to do, and the first time they're saying 'we're gonna do nothing [to] anybody', but nobody knows if it will be the same as 1996."

The Taliban previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001 – banning women from working and being educated, and stoning, executing and torturing criminals and traitors.

Mr Hashimi's wife, twin daughters and son were all flown to Britain to escape the Taliban.

They were on an RAF aircraft alongside 130 others.

However, some children have been separated from their parents and left behind at the airport.

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Heartbreaking TV news footage showed two crying children after their parents were able to enter the airport without them after a mad scramble outside.

One man who had a British passport told ITV News he was "stuck" in Afghanistan with his kids.

He said: "'I'm a British citizen, my kids are British, and they're stuck here.

"They closed the door on us and they're shooting back at us. My message for the Prime Minister is just to get us out of here.

"'Otherwise our kids are struggling and we're all in a big mess here. The British Army is right behind this fence, they've closed the gate and they're not letting no one in."

It comes as Taliban chiefs ordered British paratroopers out of Afghanistan in a week’s time — or risk slipping back into war.

The militants warned any delay would shatter the uneasy truce at Kabul Airport and added: “It’s our red line”.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace admitted that the airlift of 7,000 Brits and Afghans was “down to hours now, not weeks”.

PM Boris Johnson will urge US President Joe Biden to extend the August 31 deadline so as many people as possible can be evacuated.

They spoke by phone and agreed that the West must take a “common approach” in dealing with the Taliban.

If Mr Biden refuses to extend the mission, some of the next seven days will be spent airlifting troops, not evacuees, out of Kabul.

Defence chiefs are racing against time to liberate all those who are desperate to flee.

Every available RAF transport plane has been diverted to support the airlift with three C-17s, three A400 Atlases and two C-130 Hercules flying in and out of Kabul a day.

An RAF source said another 12 — including civilian charters — were collecting passengers in the Gulf and relaying them to the UK.

US officials said flights out of Kabul would increase significantly in coming days.

Around 230 planes worldwide are now supporting the mission including 18 civilian aircraft commandeered from US carriers including Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines.

Around 1,800 Brits and 2,275 Afghans who have worked with the UK are still in Kabul waiting to be airlifted.

Some 1,800 were brought out on Sunday, putting the UK on track to rescue all evacuees on time.

Since August 14, US and Nato flights had by last night evacuated 37,000 people — but the mission has been dogged by chaos.

At least 21 people have been killed in crushes, falls and shootings at Kabul Airport.

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