A US Marine grabs an infant over a fence of barbed wire during an evacuation in Kabul on August 19. File/AFP
Fearing their two-month old baby Sohail would get crushed in the melee, they handed him to the soldier, thinking they would soon get to the entrance, which was only about 16 feet (5 metres) away.
But at that moment, Mirza Ali said, the Taliban — which had swiftly taken over the country as US troops withdrew — began pushing back hundreds of hopeful evacuees. It took the rest of the family more than a half hour to get to the other side of the airport fence.
Sohail Ahmadi, around two months old, is seen in this handout picture taken in August 2021 in Kabul. File/Reuters
Once they were inside, Sohail was nowhere to be found.
Mirza Ali, who said he worked as a security guard at the US embassy for 10 years, began desperately asking every official he encountered about his baby's whereabouts. He said a military commander told him the airport was too dangerous for a baby and that he might have been taken to a special area for children. But when they got there it was empty.
"He walked with me all around the airport to search everywhere," Mirza Ali said in an interview through a translator. He said he never got the commander's name, as he didn't speak English and was relying on Afghan colleagues from the embassy to help communicate. Three days went by.
"I spoke to maybe more than 20 people," he said. "Every officer — military or civilian — I came across I was asking about my baby."
He said one of the civilian officials he spoke to told him Sohail might have been evacuated by himself. "They said 'we don't have resources to keep the baby here.'"
Mirza Ali, 35, Suraya, 32, and their other children, 17, 9, 6 and 3 years old, were put on an evacuation flight to Qatar and then to Germany and eventually landed in the United States. The family is now at Fort Bliss in Texas with other Afghan refugees waiting to be resettled somewhere in the United States. They have no relatives here.
Mirza Ali said he saw other families handing their babies over the Kabul airport fence to soldiers at the same time. One video clip https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/the-only-way-out-scenes-from-the-kabul-a-idUSRTXFVLJR of a small baby in a diaper being hoisted by her arm over razor wire went viral on social media. She was later reunited with her parents.
After more than seven weeks of negotiations and pleas, and ultimately a brief detention by Taliban police, Safi finally handed the child back to his jubilant grandfather and other relatives still in Kabul.
Following a request from the United States, the UAE would host the Afghans on a temporary basis, after which time they would travel on to other nations.
Khalid said, “Members of the Australian Defence Force entertaining #Afghan Refugee kids in a camp at UAE. These children & their families have been evacuated from #Afghanistan by the Australian Government. @ausgov @AustralianArmy @DeptDefence…”
Later, Islamabad judicial magistrate Umar Shabbir grated the police two-day physical remand of Rashid, who was presented before him handcuffed amid high security.
Images captured by Mauna Kea Observatory showed a mysterious "whirlpool" in the night sky.
The Abu Dhabi Court for Family and Civil and Administrative Cases obligated an employee to return to his company Dhs431,000 which he had embezzled through invoices.