May 27, 2022

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Afghanistan live news: unclear how many will be left behind after evacuation, says UK foreign secretary | World news








World Bank guards plead with British government for protection

A group of 200 workers who guarded World Bank projects in Afghanistan for the last 10 years until they lose their jobs last week have sent a desperate plea to the British government to rescue them urgently.

“Please help us before our killing,” they said in a message to world during a protest staged at a secret location in Kabul on Wednesday.

The group of men and women are terrified they will be left behind, targeted by the Taliban, and murdered.

One of the group, who emailed the Guardian, said:

When Taliban occupied Kabul the world Bank closed its office in Kabul and now the employees are in a state of despair. The only wish of them is to introduce them to SIV or ARAP to save them and their families. Our lives is like prisoners and we between life and death. … Please help us before our killing.

One banner said at their protest today:

All embassies have already relocated their security employees but still we have [sic] left here, and our lives are on [sic] danger.

Our lives are under threat, please accept our asylum.



Afghanistan: 2,000 people who worked for UK still to be airlifted

Two thousand Afghan interpreters and others who worked for the British government are still to be airlifted out of Kabul by the RAF, defence 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 waiting to get out, plus a small number of single-nationality Britons.


Meanwhile, an inquest in the UK heard today that a five-year-old Afghan refugee who died after falling from a hotel window was found on top of a neighbouring multistorey car park.

Mohammed Munib Majeedi, known as Munib, fell from a ninth-floor window at the Oyo Metropolitan hotel in Sheffield, where he was quarantining with his family after arriving from Afghanistan, last Wednesday.





The UK foreign secretary has been urged to help evacuate two Afghan aid workers employed by a Scottish charity set up in the memory of the kidnapped aid worker Linda Norgrove.

Norgrove was killed during an attempted rescue by US special forces after she was kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2010. Her parents, Lorna and John Norgrove, set up a foundation in her name which has since helped secure scholarships for 200 Afghan women, 100 of whom are training to be doctors.

The couple have asked for urgent assistance to help evacuate the foundation’s two female employees, who are sisters, one of whom has a husband and infant child. They are Hazara, an ethnic minority that emphasises education for girls which has been persecuted by the Taliban.


France set to end Afghanistan evacuations in coming hours or days


The Taliban have captured more than 100 Russian-made helicopters in various states of operability, the head of a Russian state arms exporter has said, but will be largely unable to use them with little access to maintenance crews and spare parts.

As the Taliban overran the Afghan army and took control of large stores of arms and vehicles, it also captured at least 100 Mi-17 Hip helicopters, a Russian-made transport aircraft procured by the US for the Afghan armed forces because it was comparatively cheaper and easier to fly than US-made UH-60 Black Hawks.

“The helicopter fleet there is large – more than 100 Mi-17 helicopters of various types,” said Alexander Mikheev, the head of the Russian state exporter Rosoboronexporter, according to the Interfax news agency. “Of course, this fleet requires repair, maintenance and spare parts supply.” A large portion of the fleet could already be grounded, he said.


Italy’s prime minister Mario Draghi has urged G7 leaders to redirect funds destined for Afghan military forces towards humanitarian aid.

“Italy will redirect those resources that were destined for military forces in Afghanistan towards humanitarian aid and I ask you all to join this commitment, compatibly with the situation of your countries,” according to sources present at the virtual summit, Italy’s news agency Ansa has reported.

According to Milex, Italy’s independent monitoring project focusing on military spending, Italy has spent €8.7bn since 2001 during its mission in Afghanistan.

Draghi stressed the need to “maintain a contact channel even after the 31 August deadline and the possibility of transiting from Afghanistan in a safe way’’.

“Furthermore”, he added, “we must ensure that international organisations have access to Afghanistan also after this deadline”.

Italy’s PM also urged the G7 to involve Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and India.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini said some 3,741 Afghans have been evacuated from Kabul, on 44 flights, and 2,659 of them are already in Italy.