Daily Express

‘SAVE MY BABY’

Desperate mums hand tots to troops

- By Michael Knowles

ANGUISHED mothers throw their babies over razor wire at Afghanista­n’s Kabul airport as they beg British and American soldiers to fly them to safety.

One paratroope­r said: “The mothers were getting beaten by theTaliban.They shouted, ‘Save my baby!’ and threw the babies at us. Some of the babies fell on the barbed wire.

“By the end of the night, there wasn’t one man among us who was not crying.”

The heart-wrenching scenes played out in a compound beside the airport, where Afghans were franticall­y trying to get on flights out of the Taliban-occupied country.

Thousands pushed towards the runways as they feared “a situation worse than death” if they remained.At least 12 people have died in or near the airport since Sunday.

Trampled

Troops have been climbing up ladders to carry the children to safety.

Youngsters have also been found alone in British processing centres as protests intensifie­d yesterday, prompting further brutality from the militants.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace admitted: “It is very, very difficult for those soldiers dealing with some desperate, desperate people.”

Witnesses told how children have been trampled outside the airport, beaten by Taliban fighters, whipped or even shot Hero... a soldier takes a baby girl to safety at. A Sky News journalist said: “A man has just walked up to us explaining that a little girl, two years old, is here alone. “Someone handed him the baby, along with her American passport, over the razor wire. This little girl was born in Illinois. I am holding her passport in my hand. There are no American consulate or military staff here. The man doesn’t know what to do.” More British troops were deployed to Afghanista­n yesterday to bolster security at the airport.Taliban gunmen opened fire outside as Westerners and visa holders said they could not get inside because of “huge crowds of terrified locals”. Intelligen­ce reports revealed the Taliban is intensifyi­ng its hunt for all people who collaborat­ed with Nato and US forces, especially those in the military and police. Mr Wallace said the UK would stay in Afghanista­n as long as the US ran the airport. He added: “Obviously we cannot just take a minor on their own but you will find, I think if you see in the footage, the family will be taken as well.”

But Former Royal Marine Pen Farthing, who lives in Kabul, said: ‘Nobody can actually reach the processing centre because of the chaos.We are looking at the worst humanitari­an disaster in Afghanista­n for a generation.”

THE sight of Afghan mothers handing their children to troops with a plea to “save my baby” is one of the most heartbreak­ing images to emerge from nearly two decades of conflict.

Many of these mothers will have hoped that their children would grow up in a country free of extremism. They would have dreamed that their daughters would never experience the oppression women endured the last time the Taliban was in power.

The report that babies fell on barbed wire and that the mothers were beaten by the Taliban is too horrendous to contemplat­e. An even greater catastroph­e may unfold if massacres are unleashed and civil war engulfs Afghanista­n.

Britain may lack the ability to transform Afghanista­n into a peaceful democracy but we still have the power to save the lives of individual­s and families.

At the very least, it is imperative that people who are entitled to be airlifted from Afghanista­n can get to the airport.

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 ??  ?? Fighting for safety...a US paratroope­r leans over fence to help a girl. Below, a soldier lends his jacket to sleeping boy
Fighting for safety...a US paratroope­r leans over fence to help a girl. Below, a soldier lends his jacket to sleeping boy
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 ?? Pictures: RISE TO PEACE/REUTERS ??
Pictures: RISE TO PEACE/REUTERS
 ??  ?? Heartache... a baby is passed up to the razor wire fence in a bid to save it from the Taliban
Heartache... a baby is passed up to the razor wire fence in a bid to save it from the Taliban

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