Julie Etchingham shares Afghanistan memories she'll 'never forget'

31 August 2021, 17:05 | Updated: 31 August 2021, 17:07

By Tim Dodd

Julie Etchingham reflects on the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and shared memories she'll "never forget" from her time reporting in Camp Bastion.

It comes as the final US troops left Kabul on a flight shortly before midnight local time on Monday, a day ahead of the deadline set by Joe Biden.

It meant the end of a 20 year war, which began in the wake of the September 11 attacks, leading to the Taliban proclaiming "full independence" for Afghanistan.

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Julie said: "Those of us who've worked in news in the last 20 years have been really heartbroken, upset at the images coming out of Afghanistan.

"It's made me think a lot of the British effort in Afghanistan. In 2010, I was very lucky to do some filming in Camp Bastion. [It] was this vast military base for the British in Helmand province.

"Seeing the troops going out on patrol, massive danger because of the Taliban... they were making contact with local communities, trying to support them.

"One of the things that I'll never forget was watching the helicopters bring in the wounded from the field.

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"When those troops had come under attack from the Taliban, you'll remember... the IEDs that were so often planted, aimed directly against British troops."

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Julie then said that the way A&E operates in the UK "was changed after the lessons they learned about triage and acting quickly in dire circumstances."

Julie continued: "To think that that base is now there in the hands of the Taliban all these years on.

"When you saw British troops in action, the sacrifices, dedication and extraordinary efforts that were being made there... It's really heartbreaking to think that that area where so much was sacrificed and so much was done is now in the hands of the Taliban."

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