World Bank guards call for UK government protection
A group of 200 workers who have kept World Bank projects in Afghanistan for the past 10 years until they lose their jobs last week have sent a desperate appeal to the UK government to save them from urgently.
“Please help us before we kill,” they said in a message to the world during a protest on Wednesday at a secret location in Kabul.
The group of men and women are terrified of being left behind, targeted by the Taliban and murdered.
One of the group, who emailed the Guardian, said:
When the Taliban occupied Kabul, the World Bank closed its office in Kabul and now the employees are in a state of desperation. Their only wish is to present them to the SIV or the PFRA to save them and their families. Our lives are like prisoners and we are between life and death. … Please help us before we kill.
A banner read during their demonstration today:
All the embassies have already relocated their security staff, but we still have [sic] left here, and our lives are on [sic] danger.
Our lives are threatened, please accept our asylum.
Afghanistan: 2,000 people who worked for the UK still not airlifted
Two thousand Afghan interpreters and others who worked for the British government have yet to be airlifted from Kabul by the RAF, defense sources said as the emergency evacuation reaches its final stages.
There also remain an unidentified number of “special cases” – human rights activists, judges, LGBTQ + advocates and others – placed on a special list by the Foreign Office awaiting release, as well as a small number of Britons. uninationals.
Meanwhile, an investigation in the UK today learned that a five-year-old Afghan refugee who died after falling from a hotel window was found atop a nearby multi-story car park.
Mohammed Munib Majeedi, known as Munib, fell from a ninth-floor window at the Oyo Metropolitan Hotel in Sheffield, where he was in quarantine with his family after arriving from Afghanistan last Wednesday.
The British Foreign Secretary has been asked to help evacuate two Afghan aid workers employed by a Scottish charity established in memory of kidnapped aid worker Linda Norgrove.
Norgrove was killed in a rescue attempt by US Special Forces after her kidnapping in Afghanistan in 2010. Her parents, Lorna and John Norgrove, started a foundation in her name that has since helped secure scholarships for 200 women Afghan women, 100 of whom are being trained to become doctors.
The couple asked for emergency aid to help evacuate the two foundation workers, who are sisters, one of whom has a husband and a toddler. They are Hazaras, an ethnic minority that emphasizes the education of girls and has been persecuted by the Taliban.
France to end evacuations in Afghanistan in the hours or days to come
The Taliban have captured more than 100 Russian-made helicopters in various operating states, the head of a Russian state arms exporter said, but will be largely unable to use them with limited access to maintenance crews and to spare parts.
When the Taliban invaded the Afghan army and took control of large stockpiles of weapons and vehicles, they also captured at least 100 Mi-17 Hip helicopters, a Russian-made transport aircraft purchased by the United States. for the Afghan armed forces because it was comparatively cheaper. and easier to fly than the US-made UH-60 Black Hawks.
“The helicopter fleet there is large – more than 100 Mi-17 helicopters of various types,” said Alexander Mikheev, head of Russian state exporter Rosoboronexporter, according to the Interfax news agency. “Of course, this fleet requires repairs, maintenance and a supply of spare parts.” Much of the fleet could already be grounded, he said.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi urged G7 leaders to redirect funds intended for Afghan military forces towards humanitarian aid.
“Italy will redirect these resources which were intended for the military forces in Afghanistan towards humanitarian aid and I ask you all to join in this commitment, in a manner compatible with the situation in your countries”, according to sources present at the summit virtual, the Italian news agency Ansa reported.
According to Milex, the independent Italian agency A follow-up project focusing on military spending, Italy has spent 8.7 billion euros since 2001 during its mission in Afghanistan.
Draghi stressed the need to “maintain a contact channel even after the August 31 deadline and the possibility of safe transit from Afghanistan.”
“In addition,” he added, “we must ensure that international organizations also have access to Afghanistan after this deadline.”
The Italian prime minister also urged the G7 to involve Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and India.
Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini said on Wednesday that some 3,741 Afghans have been evacuated from Kabul on 44 flights, and 2,659 of them are already in Italy.