Saturday Aug 21, 2021
Three Afghan citizens died on August 16 after falling off a United States military aircraft as it took off from the Hamid Karzai Airport — in what was seen as a desperate attempt by the Afghan nationals to flee the country following the Taliban takeover.
The Afghan citizens hung on to the aircraft as it was about to take off from the runway. However, they fell down as soon as the aircraft took off and the landing gear retracted.
The horrifying sight of the men falling off the flying aircraft was captured on camera and shared by a Twitter user soon after the incident.
Thousands of foreign and Afghan nationals — since the Taliban's lightning takeover of Afghanistan on August 15 — have been evacuated from the country, with Pakistan also operating special flights for repatriating its citizens and people of other nationalities.
A look at who the three people were:
One of the deceased was a 22-year-old dentist from Kabul, Fida Muhammad, according to Afghan media outlets.
Publications reported his parents saying that Muhammad had recently been married and had to pay off a huge loan. In a bid to earn money, he aimed to travel abroad at the earliest.
His father told the media that he left home early in the morning that day after discovering that the US is aiding in the evacuation of Afghan nationals. "We thought he had left home for work like he does every morning," he said.
“He left home today (on the day he fell off) for his work. We learned about his death hours after he fell off the plane,” a close relative told Agencia EFE.
An Afghan footballer who played for the national youth team fell to his death after trying to cling to on the US plane, a sports federation had said earlier this week.
The General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports of Afghanistan, a government institution that worked with sporting groups, confirmed the death of Zaki Anwari in the mayhem that erupted at the airport in the capital this week.
"Anwari, like thousands of Afghan youths, wanted to leave the country but fell off a US plane and died," the group said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Another person who lost his life in the incident was a 17-year-old Afghan citizen named Raza, Geo Urdu reported, citing foreign media.
The publication reported that relatives became suspicious when a stranger called them from Raza's phone and asked them to immediately reach the Kabul airport.
When they arrived, they found Raza's remains.
The whereabouts of Raza's brother Kabir, 16, who had accompanied him, however, remain unknown.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has come under pressure at home and abroad to explain how his administration was seemingly unprepared for the Taliban's quick assault — and the way in which US troops retreated from Afghanistan.