According to a sports association, an Afghan footballer who played for the national youth squad died after attempting to cling to a US plane airlifting civilians out of Taliban-controlled Kabul.
Zaki Anwari was killed in the mayhem that erupted at the capital’s airport this week, according to the General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports of Afghanistan, a government agency that works with sporting groups.
“Anwari, like thousands of other Afghan teenagers, sought to leave the country but died after falling off a US plane,” the group stated in a Facebook statement.
Following the Taliban’s lightning attack, which concluded with them gaining control when President Ashraf Ghani fled, tens of thousands of Afghans raced to the airport this week in an attempt to exit the country.
On August 16, 2021, a US Air Force plane flies overhead at Kabul airport after social media videos showed civilians clinging to the plane on the tarmac. (Photo: Reuters)
Hundreds of people were seen sprinting alongside a US Air Force plane as it gathered speed on the runway in a terrifying video from the airport on Monday, with several men desperately clinging to the side.
More social media clips appeared to show two passengers falling to their deaths from a C-17 plane shortly after it took off.
The US military stated that human remains were later discovered in a wheel well, and that it was examining the suspected deaths tied to the C-17.
“The aircraft was surrounded by hundreds of Afghan civilians before the air crew could discharge the cargo,” said US Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek.
“With the security situation around the aircraft rapidly deteriorating, the C-17 crew opted to leave the airstrip as soon as possible.”
US President Joe Biden is under fire at home and abroad for failing to explain how his administration was caught off guard by the Taliban’s swift attack, as well as the manner in which US soldiers are leaving Afghanistan.
Many Afghans have tried to emigrate because of their memories of the Taliban’s violent government in the 1990s, which saw music and television prohibited, individuals stoned to death, and women confined to their houses.