Animal charity stuck at Kabul airport, warnings of possible terror attack

Kabul International Airport written on an empty
Kabul airport, file photo: Christophe Cerisier via Canva

Finally cleared to leave Kabul by air, animal rescue charity, Nowzad, is currently stuck outside the airport, founder Pen Farthing tweeted on Thursday. 

“Dear Sir, my team and my animals are stuck at airport circle. We have a flight waiting. Can you please facilitate safe passage into the airport for our convoy?” Farthing asked Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban member of Negotiations Team, on Twitter. “We are an NGO who will come back to Afghanistan but right now, I want to get everyone out safely.”

“We have been here for 10 hours after being assured that we would have safe passage. Truly would like to go home now. Let’s prove the IEA [Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan] are taking a different path,” he added.

British armed forces minister James Heappey said Thursday morning that there is “very, very credible” intelligence that Islamic State (IS) militants are planning a suicide bomb attack aimed at people gathering around Kabul airport hoping to leave Afghanistan.

Heappey told BBC radio that Western countries rely on the Taliban for security outside the airport and that despite the attack warnings, there were a large number of people still waiting there. 

“I can only say that the threat is severe. We will do our best to protect those who are there,” Heappey said. “There is every chance that as further reporting comes in, we may be able to change the advice and process people anew, but there is no guarantee of that.”

Unable to enter plane
Funded by donations, Nowzad was able to charter a private plane to fly all staff and animals out of Kabul. The team waited for approval to bring their cats and dogs, which came Wednesday morning.

With all papers in order and a chartered plane cleared for takeoff, Farting and his team left with their animals for the airport the same day. On Thursday, however, they were still stuck in the chaos around Kabul airport.

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