Failed escapes at Kabul airport led to living nightmares for these Afghans in hiding: The Last 96


That is the third a part of a Fox Information Digital Originals collection in regards to the fall of Kabul and the hectic and heroic 96-hour effort to evacuate Afghans fearing retribution from the Taliban. Part 1 Part 2

“H” tried escaping Afghanistan by way of the Kabul airport eight instances, going from gate to gate in search of a method in, however discovered it not possible whereas touring with ladies and his youngsters. He generally spent the evening there, confronted stampeding crowds, went hours with out meals, water or rest room entry and, at one level, his son misplaced consciousness.

However regardless of the hardships, H and his household had been stranded after the U.S. lastly withdrew from Kabul. He feared the Taliban would hunt him down as a former translator for the U.S. Army.

“I served [the U.S.],” Hakim, who suffered a traumatic mind damage from an IED whereas working for the U.S. military, advised Fox Information. “Now, they owe me a favor to take me out, and I’m anticipating this from the Biden administration to assist me.”

H and his household are hiding from the Taliban. He has little probability of escaping Afghanistan within the close to future.


However his story isn’t distinctive. Numerous Afghans fearing retribution from the Taliban confronted comparable experiences. A number of, together with H, shared their experiences with Fox Information and had been granted anonymity to guard them from the Taliban.

“I don’t know why U.S. left us behind,” one Afghan advised Fox Information. He was eligible for a particular immigrant visa for his work with the U.S. Military as a monetary assistant and utilized within the spring however by no means heard again.

Every Afghan who spoke with Fox Information fought by way of large, unruly crowds; tried to bypass Taliban and generally U.S. checkpoints; and has taken radical measures to cover from the extremist group they are saying is looking them down.


The Taliban promised amnesty for Afghans who helped the U.S. authorities, however there have been quite a few, ongoing studies of retribution, together with executions.

Some Afghans interviewed mentioned they had been working out of meals and water.

Worldwide help consultants beforehand advised Fox Information meals and water shops had been a difficulty for a lot of Afghans in hiding. Additionally they mentioned Afghans have little chance of evacuation anytime quickly, until they try a life-threatening escape by way of a land route.

Not less than 100,000 – although presumably many extra – Afghan allies stay stranded within the nation.

‘My son was unconscious. I used to be about to lose him’

H pleaded with the Marines for entry to the Kabul airport.

“I have been ready right here for 48 hours,” H advised them. “I am working out of meals, working out of water.”

However the Marines had their orders and wouldn’t let him by way of.

“My son was unconscious. I used to be about to lose him,” H advised Fox Information. “My spouse was hungry, thirsty, ravenous. There was no place to go to the bathroom.”

He was compelled to go away.

“I didn’t make it within the evacuation,” H continued. “I’m nonetheless left behind.”

The Kabul airport turned the one possible escape choice after the Taliban swept by way of Afghanistan. It turned a bottleneck with a deluge of individuals flooding in.

“Not less than save my children if I … die right here,” a former translator for U.S. particular operations advised Fox Information by way of a voice memo whereas he was in search of escape. “I don’t care about myself, however I’m apprehensive an excessive amount of about my children.”

Later, he despatched one other voice memo: “I do not know the place I’m situated. From all over the place, I hear the sound of capturing gunfire. I do not know easy methods to depart.”

Afghans collect exterior the passport workplace after Taliban officers introduced they are going to begin issuing passports to its residents once more, following months of delays that hampered makes an attempt by these attempting to flee the nation after the Taliban seized management, in Kabul, Afghanistan Oct. 6, 2021. (REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

A female journalist who was extremely crucial of the Taliban advised Fox Information she couldn’t keep away from Taliban checkpoints and was afraid they’d seize her paperwork, prohibiting her from ever leaving the nation.

“Throughout the 10 days of evacuation, we tried to go to the airport, however it was nearly not possible as a result of the Taliban had been checking the passports,” she mentioned. The journalist added that she didn’t know if she would be capable of board any flights since she didn’t have an official letter allowing her evacuation.

H in contrast the scenes to the movie “World Battle Z.”

“You might need seen that zombies had been working throughout,” he advised Fox Information. “The folks had been working towards the airport. It was chaos within the metropolis.”

“I used to be additionally attempting to run to the airport and get an opportunity to be evacuated,” H continued. “However I used to be not fortunate sufficient. They didn’t allow us to in.”

H’s functions for an SIV had been repeatedly rejected years earlier than the U.S. introduced its intent to withdrawal from Afghanistan. He had quite a few letters of advice from U.S. officers, however he mentioned the embassy denied his requests as a result of he had been terminated from his job round 2014.

H advised Fox Information {that a} job demanded he take a polygraph, despite the fact that he had docs’ notes saying it was too quickly to for him after his TBI. He mentioned the damage precipitated an irregular heartbeat, main him to fail the lie detector take a look at.

H gave up on an SIV for years however reapplied in July. He’s nonetheless ready for a response.

Consequently, he was repeatedly rejected for entry to the airlift.

‘Two of my mates are gone’

Many Afghans endured the harrowing airport expertise and had been fortunate sufficient to flee. However the nightmare continues for H and the others who spoke with Fox Information.

“This nation will not be a spot to dwell anymore,” H advised Fox Information. “This nation is gone for us.”

The journalist echoed his sentiments.

“Afghanistan have develop into hell,” the feminine journalist advised Fox Information. “The world has forgotten Afghanistan, they usually left us on this state of affairs.”

Afghans vulnerable to being focused by the Taliban, together with those that spoke with Fox Information, have gone into hiding.

“I’m witnessing that two of my mates are gone,” H advised Fox Information. “They’re gone darkish.”

“I don’t know the place they’re,” he continued. “They had been in frequent contact with me, however they’re gone. I don’t know what occurred to them.”


The Taliban has arrested, executed and disappeared dissidents regardless of their promises of amnesty, in accordance with quite a few studies. Afghans in danger have, in consequence, gone into hiding.

The Taliban “are covertly working to search out the outdated U.S. allies with a view to execute them or torture them or imprison them,” H advised Fox Information.

“I don’t exit an excessive amount of due to the extent of threats which can be in near me,” he added. “The state of affairs continues to be … fairly scary and I don’t dare exit.”

The previous particular operations translator advised Fox Information: “They’re wanting all over the place. Place by place, dwelling by dwelling, avenue by avenue, searching for us, and we don’t wish to be acknowledged by them.”

“If we get acknowledge or establish, so I’m unsure we may dwell,” he continued.

Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 5, 2021. (REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 5, 2021. (REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

The journalist, the previous monetary assistant and the brother of a U.S. soldier change areas every day to keep away from getting caught. The Taliban ultimately discovered the journalist’s dwelling whereas she was in hiding.

“They searched every thing,” she advised Fox Information. “They picked some footage from our dwelling, the albums, every thing. After which they requested a few of our neighbors, ‘The place are they?'”

She additionally famous that she and her household, like many in hiding, had been working out of money and meals.

“All of the day we’re excited about a method to get overseas, to discover a method to contact folks,” the journalist advised Fox Information. “I’ve despatched greater than a whole bunch of emails to completely different e mail addresses, to embassies, to the nations that had been speculated to evacuate Afghans, particularly feminine journalists.”

She mentioned each she and her father are sick and that she’s afraid to go to the hospital.

The previous monetary assistant equally mentioned he hasn’t obtained any responses to his requests to the U.S. embassy for visas.

“Proper now, we’re the hostages of Taliban,” H advised Fox Information. “I imply, not solely me, your entire nation.”

“We’re trapped inside our personal nation,” he continued.

Prime U.S. officers just lately met with Taliban leaders with the hopes of evacuating extra Afghans. The U.S. goals to start evacuations once more earlier than the tip of the 12 months, however, in contrast to in the course of the first airlift, solely SIV candidates who’ve already gone by way of many of the vetting course of will qualify, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a single nameless U.S. authorities supply.

At-risk Afghans, possible together with the feminine journalist and the soldier’s brother, will not be eligible.

“The one method is the constitution flights,” the brother of the soldier advised Fox Information. “We live for now, only for that hope.”

Some chartered flights have began leaving Afghanistan, however Afghan nationals usually aren’t in a position to board.

“The state of affairs is getting worse day-to-day and each hour,” the brother mentioned. “Our hope is that to go away right here with our household and are available along with our mother and pop and our brother in America.”


In the meantime, the United Nations just lately warned that Afghanistan is going through a hunger crisis.

“I’m simply helpless. I’m simply broke,” H advised Fox information. “We folks don’t have cash even to purchase our groceries.”

“If we’re not dying from the threats of the Taliban, we could die from the starvation,” he continued.

Fox Information’ Matt Wall contributed to this report.

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