Boris praises UK troops on last flight out of Kabul

‘A mission unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes’: Boris Johnson praises UK troops on last flight out of Kabul ahead of ‘remorseless deadline’ – but PM says Britain ‘will return’ after 150 Brits and 1,000 Afghans were left behind

  • PM called UK scuttle from Afghanistan ‘culmination of a mission unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes’
  • Video and images showed British troops flying out of Afghanistan were shared online Saturday 
  • Boris Johnson vowed to ‘use diplomatic and humanitarian tools at our disposal to preserve gains of the war’
  • Pentagon said drone strike overnight killed two ISIS ‘planners’ behind Thursday’s suicide bombing at airport
  • The attack killed at least 170 people, including 13 U.S. troops, two Britons and the child of a UK national 
  • US troops now face ‘very difficult’ few days acting as ‘rear guard’ to the withdrawal, Gen. Sir Nick Carter said  
  • WARNING: Graphic images 

Boris Johnson has described Britain’s hasty scuttle from Afghanistan as ‘the culmination of a mission unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes’ as the last remaining British troops leave Kabul, bringing our two decades of military involvement in the country to an end.

In a video clip uploaded to Twitter on Sunday, the Prime Minister said: ‘UK troops and officials have worked around the clock to a remorseless deadline in harrowing conditions. They have expended all the patience and care and thought they possess to help people in fear for their lives.

‘They’ve seen at first-hand barbaric terrorist attacks on the queues of people they were trying to comfort, as well as on our American friends. They didn’t flinch. They kept calm. They got on with the job. It’s thanks to their colossal exertions that this country has now processed, checked, vetted and airlifted more than 15,000 people to safety in less than two weeks.’   

As images from inside military aircraft were shared online by The Parachute Regiment and the Ministry of Defence last night showing exhausted British troops leaving Kabul, Mr Johnson pledged to return to Afghanistan when it is safe to do so. 

Some 150 British nationals and more than 1,000 Afghans who assisted British forces during the intervention have been left behind. In a bid to put a positive gloss on Britain’s departure, the Prime Minister vowed to ‘use all the diplomatic and humanitarian tools at our disposal to preserve the gains of the last 20 years’. 

Government sources insisted Britain’s absence from the war-ravaged country was only temporary.

Addressing the families and loved ones of the British troops who ‘gave their all’, Mr Johnson said: ‘Your suffering and your hardship were not in vain.’ He added: ‘It was no accident that there’s been no terrorist attack launched against Britain or any other western country from Afghanistan in the last 20 years.

‘It was thanks to the bravery of our Armed Forces who fought to knock out (Osama) Bin Laden’s networks. Thanks to the devotion of British troops and aid workers and diplomats and others, we’ve helped educate 3.6 million girls.

‘Whatever the future may hold for Afghanistan, they will have that gift for the rest of their lives, a gift they will pass on to their daughters as well as their sons.’

US President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw his forces by the end of the month left Mr Johnson with no alternative but to follow suit – putting the so-called ‘special relationship’ under strain and prompting angry Tory MPs to question Mr Biden’s suitability for the White House. 

Yesterday, Mr Biden said that another attack on the Kabul airport could be imminent, while vowing that his revenge strike for an ISIS-K attack that killed 13 US troops is ‘not the last.’

‘The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high. Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,’ the President said in a statement on Saturday.

As the US military rushes into the final evacuation of Kabul airport ahead of Mr Biden’s Tuesday deadline for withdrawal, the President defended his drone strike, which the Pentagon said killed two ISIS-K ‘planners and facilitators’ in response to the deadly suicide bomb attack.

‘I said we would go after the group responsible for the attack on our troops and innocent civilians in Kabul, and we have. This strike was not the last. We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay,’ Mr Biden said in the written statement.

The Taliban condemned the US drone strike, with a spokesman describing the operation as a ‘clear attack on Afghan territory’.

Operation Pitting, the largest UK military evacuation since the Second World War, airlifted more than 15,000 people in a fortnight on more than 100 RAF flights. It included 5,000 British nationals and their families and more than 8,000 Afghan former UK staff and their relatives. 

Around 2,200 children were evacuated, the youngest just a day old.  Afghan ‘sleeper’ agents who fed intelligence to MI6, including information about the suicide bomb attack at Kabul airport last week, have also been whisked to safety. 

In other developments yesterday:

  • Two ISIS-K leaders suspected of masterminding the Kabul airport attack were reportedly ‘riding a tuk-tuk’ when they were killed in a US drone attack;
  • A second Briton killed in the Kabul attack was last night named as Musa Popal, 60, who had travelled to Afghanistan in May to visit relatives and was trying to return to Britain when killed. 
  • Mohammad Niazi, a taxi driver from Aldershot who had gone to Kabul to bring his wife and children to safety, also died;
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel hailed Operation Warm Welcome, the plan to help Afghan refugees to resettle in the UK;
  • Writing in the MoS, she said: ‘Our country has a proud history of offering sanctuary to those in need.’
  • The Government has committed to take about 5,000 refugees in the first year and 20,000 over the coming years;
  • Sources claimed that Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove was trying to ‘muscle in’ on Ms Patel’s resettlement programme;
  • Former Royal Marine Pen Farthing was accused of ‘costing lives’ with his campaign to evacuate 173 cats and dogs from Afghanistan and of ‘bullying’ a Ministry of Defence official;
  • In a voice recording obtained by the MoS, he can be heard vowing to ‘spend the rest of my time f****** destroying’ an aide to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace;
  • An Afghan translator who worked with the MoS described his dramatic escape to Britain.

Video and pictures from inside military aircraft shared online by The Parachute Regiment (pictured) showed British troops leaving the Afghan capital, and the Ministry of Defence told the MailOnline that soldiers were in the process of being withdrawn, although could not confirm the veracity of the footage

Pictured: A photograph shared by the official Twitter account of The Parachute Regiment shows soldiers on a military aircraft purportedly being withdrawn from Afghanistan on Saturday

Pictured: A handout picture provided by the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) shows UK military personnel onboard a A400M aircraft departing Kabul, Afghanistan, 28 August 2021, as part of Operation Pitting

Boris Johnson has described Britain’s hasty scuttle from Afghanistan as ‘the culmination of a mission unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes’

In this handout photo provided by the Ministry of Defence, UK military personnel onboard a A400M aircraft departing Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, August 28, 2021

Kabul animal rescuer Pen Farthing is accused of ‘costing lives’ as recording reveals his foul-mouthed rant threatening to ‘f***ing destroy’ an MoD official in the middle of Afghanistan airlift 

A former Royal Marine who founded an animal shelter in Kabul ‘cost lives’ as a result of his mission to evacuate 173 cats and dogs from Afghanistan, senior defence sources said last night.

Pen Farthing, who flew back to the UK last night with his menagerie of animals rescued by the Nowzad charity, has also been accused of ‘bullying’ British Government officials.

A leaked voice message obtained by The Mail on Sunday has revealed the behind-the-scenes bitterness over the airlift, with Mr Farthing telling an Ministry of Defence official that he would ‘spend the rest of my time f****** destroying’ him if he did not secure clearance for a flight out of the country.

The official, Peter Quentin, an adviser to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, is understood to have also received death threats from supporters of Mr Farthing as a result of his involvement in the animal rescue.

On the recording, which was shared by officials as part of an investigation into the alleged threats, Mr Farthing can be heard demanding ‘an ISAF number’ – a military callsign which has not been in use since 2014 – for a charter plane to take him, his animals and staff out of the Afghan capital.

Mr Farthing’s publicity campaign has angered the MoD because of the distraction it has provided from the ‘core mission’ of airlifting refugees. 

A defence source said: ‘This selfish charade has cost lives.’ Another source said the MoD’s help to evacuate animals meant ‘this is the first British Government explicitly committed to the idea of non-white people as equivalent to animals since the abolition of slavery.’

Yesterday, senior Tory MP and former soldier Tom Tugendhat issued a withering condemnation of the way MoD resources had been used for the animal evacuation.

Mr Tugendhat, who served in Afghanistan, revealed how his former interpreter, who is now stuck in Kabul, asked him: ‘Why is my five-year-old worth less than your dog?

‘I didn’t have an answer,’ he says.

The MP, who is chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, told LBC: ‘People have been focusing on the aeroplanes. It’s not the aeroplanes that are the problem. There’s quite a lot of space on the aeroplanes. 

They are coming and going relatively easily. The difficulty is getting people into and out of the airport.

‘And we have just used a lot of troops to bring in 200 dogs. Meanwhile, my interpreter’s family are likely to be killed. We run an NHS in the UK that taxes us all about one in seven pounds we spend. What would you say if I sent an ambulance to save my dog rather than to save your mother?’

Sir Laurie Bristow, the British ambassador to Kabul, who has relocated to Qatar to lead diplomatic work remotely, said: ‘It’s time to close this phase of the operation now, but we haven’t forgotten the people who still need to leave.’

Mr Johnson said: ‘Twenty years ago, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the first British soldier set foot on Afghan soil aiming to create a brighter future for the country and all its people. The departure of the last British soldiers from the country is a moment to reflect on everything we have sacrificed and everything we have achieved in the last two decades.

‘The nature of our engagement in Afghanistan may have changed, but our goals for the country have not. We will now use all the diplomatic and humanitarian tools at our disposal to preserve the gains of the last 20 years and give the Afghan people the future they deserve.’ 

The final flight from Kabul marks the end of a fraught period for Mr Johnson’s administration. Footage purporting to show British troops inside a military aircraft as it left Kabul was last night posted on social media.

Despite the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, a Government source insisted: ‘We intend to re-establish our diplomatic presence in Kabul as soon as the security and political situation in the country allows and are co-ordinating this effort with allies.’

By yesterday afternoon, the number of Afghans brought to the UK had reached 10,000 – double the number anticipated, with the UK evacuating more people than any country apart from the US.     

Video and pictures from inside military aircraft shared online by The Parachute Regiment on Saturday showed British troops leaving the Afghan capital.

The Ministry of Defence, which also later released its own images, told the MailOnline that soldiers were in the process of being withdrawn.

The footage, along with pictures of British solders on military aircraft, was shared by the official Twitter account of The Parachute Regiment on Saturday at 12:25pm GMT (16:55pm in Afghanistan). 

The video showed smiling soldiers sitting on the floor of the aircraft listening to ‘Ride of the Valkyries’, while the pictures – taken in the dark – showed troops sitting and facing the front of the aircraft. 

Earlier on Saturday, the Ministry of Defence confirmed that the final civilian rescue flight as part of Operation Pitting left overnight. 

All remaining RAF jets leaving Kabul will be carrying military and diplomatic personnel. 

The British ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Laurie Bristow, said: ‘It’s time to close this phase of the operation now, but we haven’t forgotten the people who still need to leave. 

‘We’ll continue to do everything we can to help them. Nor have we forgotten the brave, decent people of Afghanistan. They deserve to live in peace and security.’ 

Thousands of refugees have been unable to get to the Taliban-guarded airport or are too fearful to do so for the constant threat of terrorism. 

On Thursday, an ISIS suicide bomber killed at least 170 people, including 13 U.S. soldiers, two Britons and the child of a UK national outside the airport walls. 

Meanwhile, it was reported that the Taliban had sealed off Kabul’s airport to most Afghans hoping for evacuation, as most Nato nations flew out their troops after two decades in Afghanistan, winding down a frantic airlift that Western leaders acknowledged was still leaving many of their citizens and local allies behind.

The Pentagon announced yesterday it carried out a retaliatory drone strike that killed two ISIS ‘planners and facilitators’ and wounded another militant in Nangahar province, eastern Afghanistan. 

Washington described them as ‘high profile ISIS targets’ but would not specify their roles in the airport bombing. 

Britain’s last flight with military and official personnel is expected to land later today ahead of the Tuesday withdrawal deadline agreed by the U.S. and the Taliban.

Gen. Sir Nick Carter said: ‘We should be holding our breath and thinking really hard of that last aeroplane.’

U.S. troops now face a ‘very difficult’ few days acting as the ‘rear guard’ to the withdrawal, he added.  It has also emerged that British troops helped the last Afghan evacuee climb over a barbed wire fence into Kabul airport, it has been revealed today.

The last Afghan evacuee saved by British troops: Paras helped interpreter climb over fence in final mission launched by MoD officials angry that Pen Farthing’s pets had been saved while people remained stranded 

 

British troops helped the last Afghan evacuee climb over a barbed wire fence into Kabul airport, it has been revealed today.

The rescue of Sayed – along with his wife, their three-month-old baby and three-year-old son – came as officials complained Pen Farthing’s pets had been saved while interpreters remained stranded.

Sayed, a 32-year-old interpreter who was blown up while working for the UK in 2011, became the last person who served along-side British forces to be allowed inside Kabul airport and processed for a flight to the UK, The Sunday Times reported.

The rescue of Sayed and his family was ordered by senior figures inside the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after the gates to the airport were closed to new arrivals.

Before his escape, the Afghan father had spent more than four days trying to find a way to the airport’s Abbey Gate where British troops were clearing those who were eligible for sanctuary in the UK.

Despite being part of the crowd ordered to leave by the Taliban, who now control Kabul and most of Afghanistan following their take-over this month, Sayed told the newspaper that he stood his ground refusing to give up hope.

 The interpreter stood in the baking sun for hours wading through sewage, all while holding his young daughter, but after reaching the correct gate he was not called forward.

MoD officials – frustrated that Mr Farthing’s animals were being saved while Afghans loyal to Britain were set to be left behind – picked up Sayed’s case.

Despite the gates to the airport officially being closed to prepare for the final evacuation flights from Kabul, British troops were ordered to find him.

On Friday night, Sayed received a call from a British interpreter to take a taxi to the airport and once again go to the gate.

He said he had to walk 30 minutes after the taxi ride to reach the gate, where he found that there was another large crowd.

Sayed was once again called by the interpreter, who told him to leave the crowd and signalled him with a light.

‘When I reached the light the British forces took me and my family over the barbed wire. It was amazing, I am happy now,’ he told The Sunday Times. ‘I thank everyone who worked hard for my family.’

Sayed worked with UK forces for three years. He was given permission to come to the UK months ago, but his baby was born before the flight meaning officials required more paperwork.

 

 

The rescue of Sayed – along with his wife, their three-month-old baby and three-year-old son – came as officials complained Pen Farthing’s pets had been saved while interpreters remained stranded.

Sayed, a 32-year-old interpreter who was blown up while working for the UK in 2011, became the last person who served along-side British forces to be allowed inside Kabul airport and processed for a flight to the UK, The Sunday Times reported.

The rescue of Sayed and his family was ordered by senior figures inside the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after the gates to the airport were closed to new arrivals.

Before his escape, the Afghan father had spent more than four days trying to find a way to the airport’s Abbey Gate where British troops were clearing those who were eligible for sanctuary in the UK.

Despite being part of the crowd ordered to leave by the Taliban, who now control Kabul and most of Afghanistan following their take-over this month, Sayed told the newspaper that he stood his ground refusing to give up hope.

The interpreter stood in the baking sun for hours wading through sewage, all while holding his young daughter, but after reaching the correct gate he was not called forward.

After Thursday evening’s suicide bombing that killed an estimated 170 people, he and his family were forced to give up hope and return to their home.

Speaking earlier this week, Sayed had said that it hurt that his name was not called at the gate after working for Britain as an interpreter.

‘I always put my life in danger to save British troops because we were living as brothers,’ he said, according to The Sunday Times. ‘But now that we need them the most, no one will hear us.’

During the time in which Sayed was trying to escape the capital via the airport, former British Marine Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing’s campaign to put pressure on officials to allow him to fly to Britain with over 180 rescue animals succeeded.

While gaining huge support, the campaign led by the founder of the Nowzad animal shelter was also accused of taking up resources that could have been used to evacuate more people from Kabul.

MoD officials – frustrated that Mr Farthing’s animals were being saved while Afghans loyal to Britain were set to be left behind – picked up Sayed’s case.

Despite the gates to the airport officially being closed to prepare for the final evacuation flights from Kabul, British troops were ordered to find him.

On Friday night, Sayed received a call from a British interpreter to take a taxi to the airport and once again go to the gate.

He said he had to walk 30 minutes after the taxi ride to reach the gate, where he found that there was another large crowd.

Sayed was once again called by the interpreter, who told him to leave the crowd and signalled him with a light.

‘When I reached the light the British forces took me and my family over the barbed wire. It was amazing, I am happy now,’ he told The Sunday Times. ‘I thank everyone who worked hard for my family.’

Sayed worked with UK forces for three years. He was given permission to come to the UK months ago, but his baby was born before the flight meaning officials required more paperwork.

As the Taliban swept across the country and seized Kabul, the family’s passports were with the British embassy, leading to further delays.

But after a 100-hour battle to get him out of the capital before it became impossible, Sayed and his family are on their way to start a new life in the UK.

‘I think our American allies are going to be very challenged because the threat from ISIS-K has not gone away and of course there are still lots of desperate Afghans trying to get out,’ Sir Nick said.    

General Sir Richard Barrons warned that ISIS now posed a threat which reached beyond Afghanistan to the UK. 

‘What [the suicide bombing] does do is illustrate that Isis-K is a risk to the United Kingdom, here at home, and to our interests abroad,’ the general said.

‘We’re going to find common cause with the US, and indeed I think the Taliban, in bearing down on this terrible organisation for as long as it takes to neuter them.’  

The MoD said last night that 14,543 people had now been extracted from Kabul since August 13, a mix of Afghan and British nationals, and that now the focus would turn to getting diplomats and service personnel out. 

Pictured: Taliban Badri fighters, a ‘special forces’ unit equipped with US gear, stand guard as Afghan wait at the main entrance gate of Kabul airport on Friday

Pictured: Two Taliban fighters patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, August 28 as operations by foreign countries to get their citizens out of the country come to an end

Pictured: Five Taliban fighters carrying weapons ride in the back of a truck as they patrol Kabul on August 28, 2021

Taliban members stand guard at a checkpoint around Hamid Karzai International Airport, the centre of evacuation efforts from Afghanistan since the Taliban took over, after yesterday’s explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 28, 2021. The picture shows a U.S. military Humvee that has been seized by the Taliban

Pictured: The aftermath of Thursday’s suicide bombing, which killed 170 people including three Britons and 13 U.S. soldiers

Afghan woman gives birth on evacuation flight to UK

By Glen Owen for the Mail on Sunday 

Cradles in a red airline blanket, this little girl was born at 33,000ft while on an evacuation flight to the UK yesterday.

Her Afghan mother, Soman Noori, was on the flight from Dubai to Birmingham – having previously left Kabul – when she went into labour.

There was no doctor on board, forcing the Turkish Airlines cabin crew to deliver the baby girl in airspace over Kuwait. She has been named Havva, which translates to Eve in English.

Havva is the third child of Ms Noori, 26, and her 30-year-old husband, Taj Moh Hammat. Turkish Airlines said mother and baby were healthy, and although the plane landed in Kuwait as a precaution, it continued on its route to Birmingham and landed at 11.45am.

Video footage shows Havva sleeping in her mother’s arms before being cooed over by cabin crew.

Ms Noori is not the first woman to give birth while fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban returned to power.

An unnamed woman gave birth last week on a US military plane that had just landed in Germany. She named her Reach, after the aircraft’s call sign.

Pictured: Air crew hold baby Havva who was born on an evacuation flight destined for Birmingham

Some 8,000 of those were Afghans and their families under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap) scheme, which applies to those who helped the UK and are at risk of persecution by the Taliban. 

Tory MP and Afghan veteran Tom Tugenhadt said people should ‘forget’ about getting to Kabul and attempting to fly from the airport, due to the numerous dangerous checkpoints that have been installed along the motorways.

He told BBC Breakfast: ‘Forget about getting to Kabul. You know there’s 10 checkpoints between them on the motorway, let alone down the motorway, all the way to Kabul.

‘You can absolutely forget about trying to get to the airport because every one of those checkpoints has a danger point where Taliban or indeed affiliated groups, drug dealers or just simply bandits could murder, and certainly have, been murdering various people.’

The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee added: ‘I’m extremely sad about this and I very much hope that it might go beyond the August deadline but we found out a few days ago that it wasn’t, so I was expecting it.

‘It still leaves me extremely sad that so many of my friends have been left behind.’

Questioned over whether the UK could have done better when withdrawing personnel from Afghanistan, Mr Tugendhat said: ‘In the last week, probably not, but this has been a sprint finish after a not exactly sprint start.’

‘There are going to be questions to be asked to the Foreign Secretary about the processing in the UK in recent weeks that we’re going to have to see what the answers are.’

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace previously admitted there were between 800 and 1,100 Afghans eligible under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (Arap) scheme who would be left behind, while around 100 and 150 UK nationals will remain in Afghanistan, although Mr Wallace said some of those were staying willingly.

But a number of MPs have said that based on the correspondence they had received asking for help, they thought this was an underestimation.

Shadow defence secretary John Healey said: ‘This is the brutal truth, despite getting more than 14,000 people out, there are probably 1,000 Afghans who have worked with us over two decades in Afghanistan, helped our troops, our aid workers, our diplomats, that we promised to protect, but we’re leaving behind.

‘And I know those troops in particular will feel our failure on this as a country is a betrayal of many of those who risked their own lives to work alongside us.

‘And I think what’s important now is that we may be giving up the airport, but we cannot give up on the Afghan people or fighting to try and protect the gains that they and our troops and our diplomats and aid workers have worked so hard over two decades to gain in Afghanistan.’ 

Afghans queue at the main entrance gate of Kabul airport hoping to leave Afghanistan in Kabul on Saturday. The last UK flight carrying civilians left last night. All further British planes will be carrying military and diplomatic personnel

Afghans boarding an Italian plane at 3pm on Friday, the C-130J jet took off from Kabul with the last 58 Afghan citizens on board who were due to arrive in Italy at the Fiumicino airport early Saturday


Afghan civilians in Italian military planes (left and right) on Saturday. They will be among the last to leave as the Tuesday deadline looms

Afghan evacuees queue before boarding one of the last Italy’s military aircraft C130J during evacuation at Kabul airport on Friday

A Taliban fighter guards the airport as desperate Afghans try to escape their brutal reign

A Taliban Badri fighter, a ‘special forces’ unit, stands guard as Afghans walk to the main entrance gate of Kabul airport

Afghan evacuees queue before boarding one of the last Italy’s military aircraft C130J during evacuation at Kabul’s airport on Friday

Members of the British armed forces 16 Air Assault Brigade walk to the air terminal after disembarking a RAF Voyager aircraft at Brize Norton on Saturday

British troops from 16 Air Assault Brigade walk off the runway after arriving back at RAF Brize Norton on Saturday

Taliban leaders hold a celebratory summit in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, on Saturday to mark their victory


Left: Afghan evacuee Soman Noori holds her newborn baby girl named Havva on board an evacuation flight operated by Turkish Airlines from Dubai to Britain’s Birmingham, August 28, 2021. Right: Baby Havva who was born on an evacuation flight destined for Birmingham with the crew. Soman Noori, 26, an Afghan refugee fleeing to the UK was travelling on an evacuation flight from Dubai to Birmingham

Pictured: Afghan people wait to enter Pakistan through Chaman border crossing in Chaman, Pakistan on August 28, 2021

Pictured: Pakistani soldiers check documents of Afghan people before entering Pakistan through Chaman border crossing in Chaman, Pakistan on August 28, 2021

Pictured: Afghan people wait to enter Pakistan through Chaman border crossing in Chaman, Pakistan on August 28, 2021

Boris Johnson has admitted he felt a ‘great sense of regret’ about the many hundreds that UK forces had been unable to evacuate from Kabul. 

Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the Foreign Affairs committee, said the fact people would be left behind filled him with ‘anger and shame’ and warned ‘we may find ourselves with the biggest hostage crisis the UK has ever seen.’ 

‘Quite rightly, British citizens and entitled persons are literally in fear of their lives right now.’

The former Army Lieutenant Colonel is one of a growing number of MPs from across the political spectrum to have accused the Government of ‘failing’ in its mission to keep Afghan staff safe by not completing the evacuations.

Mr Tugendhat added: ‘Defeat means you don’t get a say… we have just been defeated, we have no influence over Kabul anymore.’ 

And  security sources said they feared that elements of the Taliban or Isis-K could capture vulnerable Afghans or UK citizens and demand a ransom. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of his ‘great sense of regret’ at those left behind.

He said: ‘Of course, as we come down to the final hours of the operation there will sadly be people who haven’t got through, people who might qualify.

‘What I would say to them is that we will shift heaven and earth to help them get out, we will do whatever we can in the second phase.’   

Displaced families living in tents in Kabul. The advance of the Taliban across the country has forced thousands to flee their homes – many had headed for the relative safety of the capital only for it also to fall

Displaced women and children liiving in tents in Kabul after they were forced to flee their homes

Pictured: Afghan collaborators, their families, Spanish soldiers and members of the embassy board a Spanish military plane as part of their evacuation, at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 27, 2021

Pictured: An Afghan man hands his child to a British Paratrooper assigned to 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment while a member of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division conducts security at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug 26, 2021

British troops were seen securing the perimeter outside the Baron Hotel, near the Abbey Gate in Kabul on Thursday following the bombing


Pictured left: Muhammad Niazi, a British Afghan who travelled there from London to help his family. Pictured right: One of Mr Niazi’s daughters. As of last night, his wife, youngest child and eldest daughter were still missing, according to the broadcaster, with his brother and survivor of the blast – Abdul Hamid – saying ‘I saw some children in the river’

ISIS-K, short for ISIS Khorasan Province, are believed to be operating in the east of Afghanistan on the border with Pakistan

One of the victims of Thursday’s Kabul suicide bombing has been named as Muhammad Niazi, a British Afghan who travelled there from London to help his family at the airport, according to the BBC.

As of last night, his wife, youngest child and eldest daughter were still missing, with his brother and survivor of the blast, Abdul Hamid, telling the broadcaster: ‘I saw some small children in the river, it was so bad. It was doomsday for us.’  

According to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Niazi was a taxi driver from Aldershot who travelled to Afghanistan to rescue his family as the Taliban bore down on the city, and chaos led to scenes of mass panic at the airport. 

It is feared that his wife and two of their daughters were also caught up in the bombing, and possibly killed, and the couple’s other daughter and only son are understood to have been severely injured, the newspaper reported.

He is understood to have flown from Heathrow to Azerbaijan, before travelling to Afghanistan in an attempt to take his family to safety.

Imran Naizi, a friend and member of the same mosque as Muhammad Niazi (of no relation), told The Telegraph that the Afghan community and Aldershot are mourning the loss of a dedicated family man. 

Kabul animal rescuer Pen Farthing is accused of ‘costing lives’ as recording reveals his foul-mouthed rant threatening to ‘f***ing destroy’ an MoD official in the middle of Afghanistan airlift

By Glen Owen, Political Editor, Mail On Sunday 

A former Royal Marine who founded an animal shelter in Kabul ‘cost lives’ as a result of his mission to evacuate 173 cats and dogs from Afghanistan, senior defence sources said last night.

Pen Farthing, who flew back to the UK last night with his menagerie of animals rescued by the Nowzad charity, has also been accused of ‘bullying’ British Government officials.

A leaked voice message obtained by The Mail on Sunday has revealed the behind-the-scenes bitterness over the airlift, with Mr Farthing telling an Ministry of Defence official that he would ‘spend the rest of my time f****** destroying’ him if he did not secure clearance for a flight out of the country.

The official, Peter Quentin, an adviser to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, is understood to have also received death threats from supporters of Mr Farthing as a result of his involvement in the animal rescue.

On the recording, which was shared by officials as part of an investigation into the alleged threats, Mr Farthing can be heard demanding ‘an ISAF number’ – a military callsign which has not been in use since 2014 – for a charter plane to take him, his animals and staff out of the Afghan capital.

Pen Farthing (pictured), who flew back to the UK last night with his menagerie of animals rescued by the Nowzad charity, has also been accused of ‘bullying’ British Government officials

 Another source said the MoD’s help to evacuate animals (pictured) meant ‘this is the first British Government explicitly committed to the idea of non-white people as equivalent to animals since the abolition of slavery’

Mr Farthing, who served 22 years in the military, accuses Mr Quentin of ‘blocking’ his efforts to leave the country, saying: ‘Here’s the deal buddy. You either get me that f****** ISAF number and you get me permission to get on that f****** airfield or tomorrow morning I am going to turn on you. The whole f****** country… is going to know that it is you.’

During the two-minute rant, Mr Farthing also says: ‘I served for 22 years for the Royal Marine Commandos. I am not going to take this b******* from people like you.’

Friends of Mr Quentin, who denies trying to block a flight, say he was particularly incensed by the ‘people like you’ line as he has also operated in Afghanistan – learning Dari in the process – and returned several times to conduct research and write a book on the conflict.

They also maintain that Mr Quentin had been personally helping with the evacuation of Afghans and to ensure Nowzad staff were on the evacuation list.

Mr Farthing’s publicity campaign has angered the MoD because of the distraction it has provided from the ‘core mission’ of airlifting refugees. 

A defence source said: ‘This selfish charade has cost lives.’ Another source said the MoD’s help to evacuate animals meant ‘this is the first British Government explicitly committed to the idea of non-white people as equivalent to animals since the abolition of slavery.’

Yesterday, senior Tory MP and former soldier Tom Tugendhat issued a withering condemnation of the way MoD resources had been used for the animal evacuation.

Mr Tugendhat, who served in Afghanistan, revealed how his former interpreter, who is now stuck in Kabul, asked him: ‘Why is my five-year-old worth less than your dog?

‘I didn’t have an answer,’ he says.

The MP, who is chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, told LBC: ‘People have been focusing on the aeroplanes. It’s not the aeroplanes that are the problem. There’s quite a lot of space on the aeroplanes. 

They are coming and going relatively easily. The difficulty is getting people into and out of the airport.

‘And we have just used a lot of troops to bring in 200 dogs. Meanwhile, my interpreter’s family are likely to be killed. We run an NHS in the UK that taxes us all about one in seven pounds we spend. What would you say if I sent an ambulance to save my dog rather than to save your mother?’

Mr Farthing’s flight left without charity staff who were prevented from entering the military-controlled area at Kabul airport, despite having been granted visas for the UK. 

They had helped to bring the pets to the airport in two cattle trucks. Mr Farthing said armed Taliban militants stopped the Afghan staff from crossing into the British-controlled zone where they could board the privately chartered flight to the UK.

Speaking about his staff members, Mr Farthing, whose real name is Paul, said: ‘It is just so depressing that I had to leave them behind. Some of them came with me to the airport but they weren’t allowed to cross the line from Taliban to British control.

‘I feel so many things. I feel very sad for them, I’m relieved for me and I feel happy for the animals. There were lots of tears when we said goodbye.’

Carrie Johnson’s close friend Nimco Ali made a thinly veiled attack on Mr Farthing on Friday.

In response to a story posted on Twitter by the BBC which told how he said he ‘went through hell’ to reach Kabul airport only to be turned away, the activist wrote: ‘So have countless Afghans. But we don’t know their names and they might never get out.’

Reports had suggested that animal-lover Mrs Johnson had used her influence to lobby for Mr Farthing’s cause, but the Prime Minister firmly denied such claims.

Mr Quentin declined to comment last night and when the MoS contacted Mr Farthing’s wife, Kaisa, about the outburst, she also declined to comment.  

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