Desperate Afghan mothers fleeing Taliban 'throw babies over Kabul airport barbed wire'

19 August 2021, 05:52

Crowds have tried to flee Taliban rule by getting to the airport and hoping they are eligible to be flown out
Crowds have tried to flee Taliban rule by getting to the airport and hoping they are eligible to be flown out. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Desperate Afghan mothers trying to flee the Taliban resorted to throwing their babies over barbed wire at Kabul airport as the regime tightened its grip on the country.

Huge crowds of people have been seen at Hamid Karzai International as they try to escape a future under the group.

Despite the Taliban's recent publicity drive, there are fears those who worked with the Afghan government face reprisals and that human rights, particularly for women, will be abused if the group implements a strict application of sharia law.

As international troops try to keep the airport secure while officials and Afghans are flown out, reports have emerged of women throwing their babies over the perimeter barbed wire, hoping British troops will take them out of the country.

The Independent reports a Parachute Regiment officer said: "The mothers were desperate, they were getting beaten by the Taliban.

International troops including British and American forces have secured the airport
International troops including British and American forces have secured the airport. Picture: Alamy

"They shouted, "save my baby" and threw the babies at us, some of the babies fell on the barbed wire. It was awful what happened.

"By the end of the night there wasn't one man among us who was not crying."

Read more: Taliban 'beat and whip' crowds as regime tightens grip on Afghanistan

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Former Afghan translators protest at Parliament Square

Sky News was told by a senior officer: "It was terrible, women were throwing their babies over the razor wire, asking the soldiers to take them, some got caught in the wire.

"I'm worried for my men, I'm counselling some, everyone cried last night."

The Taliban, which was deposed in a US-led invasion after the September 11 attacks in 2001, returned to power after a blitz, in which key city after key city fell to the group before they seized the capital.

Read more: Boris Johnson condemned by MPs from all parties over handling of Afghanistan crisis

It is hoped the group will not try to shelter terrorists within its territory again. Their regime was overthrown 20 years ago after the World Trade Centre attacks because of Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan.

The group has claimed it wants to form an "inclusive government" and that women will enjoy rights under Islamic law.

Speaking to LBC on Wednesday, the professional head of the British military, General Sir Nick Carter, said they should be given space to demonstrate they can govern effectively and that it was too straight forward to paint them as the "bad guys".

General Sir Nick Carter: People generalise Taliban as 'bad guys'

But there is scepticism as to whether the Taliban has changed. Multiple reports point to abuses throughout Afghanistan.

Reports say the group has carried out beatings and whippings as a form of crowd control while gunfire is thought to have led to at least three deaths in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

That came as residents there reportedly opposed replacing the Afghanistan republic's flag with the Taliban's banner.

There have also been reports of women having to leave their jobs at a bank in Kandahar after the group took control there.

A new resettlement scheme could see up to 20,000 Afghan refugees move to the UK, with 5,000 arriving in the first year.

The Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme is designed to help people most at risk from the Taliban's takeover, including women, children, and religious and other minorities.

Journalists and people who helped the previous government are also considered at risk. More than 500 British nationals and former Afghan staff have been flown out of the country.