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‘No hope for them’: British Afghan fears family will be executed by Taliban after being left behind in Kabul

Written by on 27/08/2021

Twenty years ago after being tortured, Najib Afzali fled the Taliban from Afghanistan and settled in the UK.

Today, in Kabul, his brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces are stuck, stranded, facing death.

Speaking to Sky News at his tailors in Altrincham, Mr Afzali shared the despair his family who worked with the Afghan government and British and US troops are in.

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Afghan migrants in the UK fear for their families begging to be 'rescued' as evacuations wind down.
Image: Najib Afzali hopes the UK government will accept his family just as they accepted him 20 years ago

“Every second in Kabul for them is a desperate situation and danger,” he told us. “There is no hope for them.”

His family, who range from a one-year-old baby to a 63-year-old woman, are all in hiding.

Their homes had been ransacked by members of the Taliban all because of their links with the Afghan government and foreign troops.

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“They are all hidden,” he said. “All I can do is communicate with them over the phone whenever they’re safe to call me, giving me assurances that they’re still okay and safe from the danger they face.”

He added: “I know the history of the Taliban, it doesn’t matter when but sooner or later they will catch them and they will execute them without any judgement.

“Whether it’s in the street, in the house, it doesn’t matter.”

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Afghanistan: UK’s evacuation in ‘final hours’

Following the announcement that the evacuation mission is coming to a close and no more Afghans are being called forward, Mr Afzali said he was angry and heartbroken that his family have been left behind.

“I was completely shattered,” he said. “I felt really down because I feel like I’ve been very helpless.

“They’re in desperate need of some help.

“I can’t sleep at night, I’m not focused when it comes to my own wife and children.”

It is dangerous even speaking on the phone to his family, but his sister, who did not want to be identified as she hides in Kabul, told us she is fearing for her life.

“We need help, we need someone to rescue us, we are not safe,” she pleaded.

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Aftermath of bomb blast outside Kabul airport

The anguish and the desperation in her voice was too much for Mr Afzali, who broke down in front of us.

Thursday’s attack outside the airport in Kabul came just moments after all of Mr Afzali’s family attempted to be rescued.

They left where they were hiding to try and be processed through the airport gates to get on a flight out of the country, after 26 hours in the heat with little food and water and no success, they turned back; moments later the suicide bomb where they were stood was detonated.

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They survived that, but they may not survive what is yet to come.

Despite all of this, Mr Afzali has hope and faith in the British government.

He said: “I am hoping the government of the UK, like they accepted me when I was in a desperate situation 20 years ago, they will accept my family too.

“Because the situation there is a lot worse.”

 Sky News

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