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‘Distraught and frightened’: Ex-marine’s wife in safe house after stampede chaos at Kabul airport

Written by on 18/08/2021

A former Royal Marine commando says his wife and a pregnant employee are now in a safe house in Afghanistan after they unsuccessfully attempted to get a flight out of Kabul.

Paul “Pen” Farthing – who founded an animal shelter in Afghanistan‘s capital – said on Tuesday that his wife and an employee who is 34 weeks pregnant were caught in a “stampede” outside the capital’s airport when they attempted to get an evacuation flight.

He has now tweeted that they are in a Kabul safe house and are “distraught, upset and frightened”.

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Mr Farthing also called out the US and Norwegian embassies in Kabul, who, he says, have not asked where they are after they missed their flight.

On Tuesday, the former marine revealed he was yet to hear from his wife and accused the US and UK governments of “not telling the truth” about the chaos in Kabul after the Taliban takeover.

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“My wife and my country manager, who is 34 weeks pregnant, they were told by the evacuation teams that they need to get to Kabul airport within the next hour to get their flights, their evacuation flights out,” Mr Farthing said earlier this week.

“There is no security on the outside of Kabul airport. They got caught in a crush, in a stampede.

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‘The politicians don’t have a handle on Kabul’

“This is a 34-week pregnant woman and my wife getting caught in a stampede. They were at the gate of Kabul airport on the side they’d been told to go.”

Mr Farthing served in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in the mid-2000s and described how “thousands and thousands of desperate Afghans” are trying to get into Kabul airport to “escape the mess we made” in the country.

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Kabul airport chaos as people cling to plane

He said on Tuesday that he did not know the whereabouts of his wife, but that his pregnant country manager and her young son had managed to escape the crush and were now attempting to reach another secure location near to the airport.

“Somebody needs to get a grip,” he added.

“If they are injured or hurt, I will personally hold Boris Johnson and the whole of this government to account. This is not acceptable.”

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Afghanistan swiftly fell to Taliban control following the withdrawal of Western troops earlier this year, although US President Joe Biden has remained defiant over his decision to bring home American soldiers after two decades in the country.

The first flight carrying British nationals arrived at RAF Brize Norton on Sunday night, as the UK steps up efforts to evacuate up to 1,500 people from the country every day.

But there were chaotic scenes at Kabul’s airport on Monday when hundreds of people attempted to board a US Air Force plane, with some plunging to their death as it took off and human remains were found in the wheel well once it landed in Qatar.

 Sky News

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