Nineteen-year-old Zaki Anwari, who had played for Afghanistan’s national youth team, fell to his death after trying to stow away on a US military plane leaving Kabul airport, Afghan authorities have confirmed.
Horrified social media audiences across the world watched video footage appearing to show at least two fleeing Afghans, who had clung to the undercarriage of a US plane leaving the capital, falling to the ground after the plane had taken off.
The BBC reports that, according to Afghanistan’s General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports, one of those who died was Zaki Anwari.
Since the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan, thousands of people have scrambled to Kabul’s airport as Western countries rushed to evacuate their citizens and Afghan colleagues.
Footage earlier this week showed hundreds of people running alongside a US air force plane as it moved down a runway. Some people were seen clinging to its side.
Some of the footage showed what appeared to be two people falling to their deaths after the plane took off. Also, the US air force has confirmed that human remains were found in the landing gear of an aircraft after it arrived in Qatar.
It was reported yesterday that some 4 500 US troops were in temporary control of Karzai International Airport in Kabul. The Taliban were reported to be blocking Afghans from entering the airport without travel documents. The BBC said even those with valid authorisation ‘have struggled’.
US President Joe Biden said that US troops may have to stay in Afghanistan beyond the planned 31 August deadline agreed with the Taliban, in order to help with evacuations.