Afghan English teacher says he 'regrets' working with UK mission

‘Why did I work for people who left me and fled?’ Afghan English teacher says he ‘regretsworking with UK mission and says Taliban are ‘looking for himafter he was left behind in evacuation

  • Ex-Afghan English teacher in Afghanistan ‘regretsworking with the British
  • Britain and the US ended their presence in Afghanistan last night
  • Unnamed man told the BBC the Taliban are hunting him following withdrawal
  • The Taliban are pinning chilling ‘night lettersto the doors of ‘collaborators
  • An ex-Afghan English language teacher stranded in Afghanistan has described how he ‘regretsworking with the British mission in the country and says the Taliban are hunting him.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the unnamed man said: ‘I regret working with the English. I regret helping people learn English. Why did I work for people who left me and fled and left me alone here? My background is hurting me nowadays.

    Britain and the US officially ended their military presence in Afghanistan late last night with the final US troops flying out from Kabul’s airportleaving behind hundreds of citizens and Afghan allies desperate to flee the country now in the hands of the Taliban.

    The RAF had made its last evacuation flight on Sunday to give US forces enough time to clear the ground ahead of the deadline set by Joe Biden, bringing to an end the deployment which began after 9/11.

    London helped fly some 15,000 persone in sicurezza, but stories have emerged of interpreters who helped the armed forces and even people with British passports stranded behind Taliban checkpoints.

    It is not known precisely how many people who were promised sanctuary in the UK were left behind. Alcuni 200 American passport holders are now thought to be living under Taliban rule, with an unknown number of Afghans promised sanctuary also abandoned.

    The Afghan English teacher said: ‘They are looking for me because I’ve got pictures in billboards advertised for classes. Anche, I worked for the British Council. I worked for the UK for the past eight or nine years.

    He tried to flee Afghanistan shortly after the Taliban took over, but found there was no way for him to escape. He applied for the evacuation scheme but had ‘no reply’. ‘Last night was the worst,’ Egli ha detto.

    'Era, the whole night, guns while you’re sleeping. It damages your mind. My fate will be the same, like others.

    Handout photo issued by the Ministry of Defence of UK military personnel onboard a A400M aircraft departing Kabul

    Handout photo issued by the Ministry of Defence of UK military personnel onboard a A400M aircraft departing Kabul

    US soldiers board an US Air Force aircraft at the airport in Kabul on August 30, 2021

    US soldiers board an US Air Force aircraft at the airport in Kabul on August 30, 2021

    Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid (C) speaks to the media at the airport in Kabul

    Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid (C) speaks to the media at the airport in Kabul

    Dominic Raab DENIES US claims that Britain ‘made Kabul airport suicide attack death toll worseby pushing to keep gate at centre of blast open for UK evacuees despite terror threat

    Dominic Raab today hit back at the Pentagon after they tried to shift the blame for the high death toll from last week’s suicide attack in Kabul on to the UK.

    With the ‘special relationshipunder further strain, Britain’s Foreign Secretary insisted it is ‘simply not trueto suggest UK pushed to keep Kabul airport gate open against the wishes of their US allies.

    And he revealed that Britain had already moved its own staff from a nearby hotel because of the growing threat of a terror attack.

    Mr Raab told Sky News: ‘We co-ordinated very closely with the US, in particular around the Isis-K threat which we anticipated, although tragically were not able to prevent, but it is certainly right to say we got our civilians out of the processing centre by Abbey Gate, but it is just not true to suggest that other than securing our civilians inside the airport that we were pushing to leave the gate open.

    'Infatti, and let me just be clear about this, we were issuing changes of travel advice before the bomb attack took place and saying to people in the crowd, about which I was particularly concerned, that certainly UK nationals and anyone else should leave because of the risk.

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    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the number of UK nationals left behind in Afghanistan is in the ‘low hundredsafter the western military presence came to an end in the country.

    The Cabinet Minister said on Tuesday he was unable to give a ‘definitivefigure on how many Afghans the UK failed to airlift to safety after the Taliban seized power.

    Mr Raab did not rule out the possibility that thousands of Afghans and UK nationals could have been left behind following the departure of British troops ahead of their American counterparts.

    Anziché, he told the Today programme: ‘It’s very difficult to give you a firm figure. I can tell you that for UK nationals we’ve secured since April over 5,000, and we’re in the low hundreds (remaining).’

    The Taliban are pinning chilling ‘night lettersto the doors of those they accuse of ‘working for the crusaders’. The notes order their victims to attend a Taliban-convened court. Failure to do so will result in the death penalty.

    One of those to receive a warning was Naz, a 34-year-old father-of-six whose construction company helped the UK military build roads in Helmand and the runway at Camp Bastion.

    He had applied for sanctuary in Britain under ARAP, the Afghan relocation programme, but had been rejected.

    Naz said yesterday: ‘The letter was official and stamped by the Taliban. It is a clear message that they want to kill me. If I attend the court, I will be punished with my life. If I don’t, they will kill methat is why I am in hiding, trying to find a way to escape. But I need help.

    Another victim, a former British military translator, was warned he was a ‘spy of the infideland must give himself up or pay with his life.

    A third night letter warned the brother of an interpreter that he had been sentenced to death for sheltering him while a fourth was found in the shoe of an ex-British military translator as he left prayers at a mosque.

    The letters are a traditional Afghan method of intimidation. They were used by mujahideen fighters during the Soviet occupation and then by the Taliban as both a propaganda tool and a threat. Often used in rural communities, they are now being widely circulated in cities.

    Those received by former British translators are designed to both spread fear and compliance with Taliban directives with threats of violence or death if ‘demands are not met’.

    As in Naz’s case, that usually involves an interpreter surrendering to a Taliban court. Shir, 47, worked on the front lines in Helmand and qualified for relocation. But he was unable to force his way through the airport to board an evacuation flight.

    Egli ha detto: ‘My daughter found the letter on our door with a nail in it. It instructed me to surrender myself for the judgment of the court of the Islamic Emirate (talebani) or they would act like hunters to find me. They would then kill me.He immediately moved home and is now in hiding.

    ‘It is a letter of fear, a warning, a threat to you and your family. You must bow to the Taliban orders or make sure you are not caught. I thought I would escape on a British flight and was called three times to the airport but could not make it through the people.

    ‘Now I am trapped and people have seen the letter on my door. It is a mark of the Taliban on my family.

    For Naz, the letter was specific. It named his father and their village and was stamped by the Islamic Emirate. The warning said he had been a ‘slaveof NATO forces and had ignored warnings to stop working with them.

    He was ordered to ‘present yourselfto the court otherwise it would be ‘forwarded to the Sharia Court of Appeal where the judgment of death penalty will be passed in your absence. This would be the path you have chosen for yourself’.

    The Taliban are pinning chilling ‘night letters’ to the doors of those they accuse of ‘working for the crusaders’. The notes order their victims to attend a Taliban-convened court. Failure to do so will result in the death penalty

    The Taliban are pinning chilling ‘night lettersto the doors of those they accuse of ‘working for the crusaders’. The notes order their victims to attend a Taliban-convened court. Failure to do so will result in the death penalty

    The letters are a traditional Afghan method of intimidation. They were used by mujahideen fighters during the Soviet occupation and then by the Taliban as both a propaganda tool and a threat

    The letters are a traditional Afghan method of intimidation. They were used by mujahideen fighters during the Soviet occupation and then by the Taliban as both a propaganda tool and a threat

    British citizens and Afghan friendlies are left behind as last US flights slip out of Afghanistan 24 hours early: Taliban celebrate West’s final retreat from 20-year war with wild gunfire in sky above Kabul

    Britain and America officially ended their military presence in Afghanistan late last night with the final US troops flying out from Kabul’s airportleaving behind hundreds of citizens and Afghan allies desperate to flee the country now in the hands of the Taliban.

    A night-vision image showed America’s Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, boarding a military transport as the last US soldier to leave Afghanistan after 20 anni di guerra.

    The RAF had made its last evacuation flight on Sunday to give US forces enough time to clear the ground ahead of the deadline set by Joe Biden, bringing to an end a deployment which began in the wake of September 11.

    The UK government helped fly some 15,000 persone in sicurezza, but stories have emerged of interpreters who helped the armed forces over the last 20 years and even people with British passports stranded behind Taliban checkpoints. It is not known precisely how many people who were promised sanctuary in the UK were left behind.

    Alcuni 200 American passport holders are now thought to be living under Taliban rule, with an unknown number of Afghans promised sanctuarythought to number in the thousandsalso abandoned.

    ‘There’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure,’ General Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Comando Centrale, said on Monday night. ‘We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out. But I think if we’d stayed another 10 giorni, we wouldn’t have gotten everybody out.

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    Naz said: ‘The message of night letters is clear: you must comply or die. We have moved but we can’t keep moving. We must escape.

    The Taliban bragged on the runway of Kabul airport today that the West’s retreat from Afghanistan should serve as ‘a lesson for the world’.

    Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s chief spokesman, addressed the media from Hamid Karzai Airportposing in front of Taliban ‘special forcesunits who had seized control of the airstrip just hours earlier along with a captured American C-130 military transport.

    ‘Congratulations to Afghanistanthis victory belongs to us all,’ Mujahid said, calling the day a ‘big lesson for other invaders and for our future generationwhile vowing to establish ‘good relations with the US and the world.

    Durante la notte, fireworks and celebratory gunfire had lit up the night sky over the Afghan capital after it emerged the last US evacuation flight had departed, putting an end to America’s longest war.

    Mujahid insisted today that Taliban security forces will be ‘pleasant and nice’, despite reports already emerging of summary executions and persecution against women reminiscent of the Taliban of old.

    Afghanistan is also facing economic collapse as aid organisations cut off funding and foreign banks withhold reserves, while UN agencies warn that food could start running out within a month.

    It comes as Mr Raab today hit back at the Pentagon after they tried to shift the blame for the high death toll from last week’s suicide attack in Kabul on to the UK.

    With the so-called ‘special relationshipunder further strain, Britain’s Foreign Secretary insisted it is ‘simply not trueto suggest UK pushed to keep Kabul airport gate open against the wishes of their US allies.

    And he revealed that Britain had already moved its own staff from a nearby hotel because of the growing threat of a terror attack.

    The attack on Kabul airport on Thursday has led to a transatlantic blame game, with US sources indicating the gate that was attacked was kept open to facilitate the British evacuation.

    According to leaked Pentagon notes obtained by Politico, Rear Admiral Peter Vasely, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, had wanted to close Abbey Gate but it was kept open to allow UK evacuees into the airport.

    The Ministry of Defence said that throughout the operation at the airport ‘we have worked closely with the US to ensure the safe evacuation of thousands of people’.

    Mr Raab told Sky News: ‘We co-ordinated very closely with the US, in particular around the Isis-K threat which we anticipated, although tragically were not able to prevent, but it is certainly right to say we got our civilians out of the processing centre by Abbey Gate, but it is just not true to suggest that other than securing our civilians inside the airport that we were pushing to leave the gate open.

    'Infatti, and let me just be clear about this, we were issuing changes of travel advice before the bomb attack took place and saying to people in the crowd, about which I was particularly concerned, that certainly UK nationals and anyone else should leave because of the risk.

    Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith also questioned the American account, telling LBC today: ‘If the American military were serious about shutting the gates they would have shut the gates’.

    Last night a senior British diplomatic source hit back at the US’s accusations, pointing out that a number of foreign ministers at a G7 meeting yesterday ‘heaped praiseon the UK’s actions at the airport during the evacuation.

    Una fonte ha detto al Times: ‘We understood the severity of the situation; we changed the travel advice. If they had closed Abbey Gate we would have been totally supportive.

    Defence select committee chairman Tobias Ellwood told the Telegraph: ‘It does not add up. If the US was anticipating a mass casualty event why did they still continue processing themselves?

    ‘There is an underlying current of blame which is unhelpful. It’s a distraction from the main effort of what is happening on the ground’.

    Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, disse: ‘No blame should be put on the British here and I do not believe the evidence as presented goes anywhere near any level of UK culpability. The US had very good intelligence on this attack.

    ‘One could ask why they did not conduct a pre-emptive strike to neutralise the threat? If the suicide bomber had not detonated his device at Abbey Gate it would have been somewhere else close by.

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