19 Aug ‘I am terrified to see what is happening’: Fears for family trapped in Afghanistan | World News
Afghan families in the UK have told Sky News of “terrifying” reports from relatives of Taliban control in Afghanistan.
Abdul Bostani, from Glasgow, says he’s been told in telephone calls of people being taken away in the night by armed men.
He said: “My family are in hiding and the stories they are telling me are terrifying. Taliban are knocking doors during the night, taking people out of their homes and nobody knows where they are taking them.
“They are taking people’s cars, they are taking people’s empty houses – lots of people have fled, left the country, so the houses have been taken by the Taliban.
“It is so difficult, I am terrified to see what is happening.”
Sky News couldn’t independently verify the claims.
Abdul fled Taliban control in 2001 and came to Glasgow where he helped to set up Glasgow Afghan United, a football team made up of refugees.
Whilst he has long since settled in the city, he has numerous family members still in Afghanistan, including his mother.
He says he has a particular concern because his family are of a tribe traditionally associated with the Afghan special forces, police and army and, as such, are likely targets for the Taliban.
“I have a lot of fear for my family. They escaped the war in Kunduz province and sought refuge in Kabul, which was a little bit safe compared to Kunduz, but they are now trapped.
“The (special forces) are prime targets for the Taliban because the Taliban knows them really well, they were the ones fighting Taliban in every corner of Afghanistan to pursue the mission of international communities which was bringing safety, security into the country. Now they have left us alone, they let us down and they walked away and we are in the middle of a mess.”
People gathered in Glasgow city centre on Wednesday evening in a show of solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. Organisers condemned the US and the UK for a “betrayal” of the country.
The Taliban takeover hasn’t been universally condemned within the city’s Afghan community, however. Waheed Totakhyl, the Chairman of the Scottish Afghan Society – a registered charity – said Afghanistan was now “safer than Europe”.
Speaking in a personal capacity, he told Sky News: “For a long time, Afghan people have been waiting for this day. This is the day of independent Afghanistan, it’s freedom for everyone. Afghanistan is a nice and good place. Afghanistan is safer than Europe now.”
Asked why people were hanging onto aeroplanes in an effort to escape Afghanistan, he replied: “Hundreds – 200 or 500 people – they listened to the American and Canada news, they said ‘we take 30,000 Afghans to Canada’ and they said ‘Oh’ and they went to the airport.”