Taliban Arrest Ex-British Soldier Who Attempt To Evacuate 400 Afghans

Ben Slater, chairman of the Kabul-based Nomad Concepts Group, is leading an escape attempt of 400 Afghans

LAGOS  SEPTEMBER 2ND (NEWSRANGERS)-A former British soldier’s mission to evacuate 400 Afghans via a third country has failed after a coach of his staff was turned away at a land border between Afghanistan and a third country.

Ben Slater, a former soldier in the Royal Military Police who now runs a chain of NGOs, is attempting to evacuate 400 people and himself from the country, which is now controlled by the Taliban.

After a failed attempt to secure his staff and their families seats on a plane in the UK’s airlift from Kabul, Mr Slater launched an escape bid over a land border.

He and a coach of Afghans spent two days at the border, staying in a hotel near the checkpoint.

But on Thursday morning Mr Slater was arrested by the Taliban and thrown in prison, where he was questioned about members of his staff, who are single women, staying in hotel rooms without husbands.

He was then released and told he may travel across the border with one assistant, but the rest of his staff must now return to Kabul.

The staff have not been granted visas to travel to the UK by the Foreign Office.

Mr Slater vowed he would continue to help them and told The Telegraph he would now attempt to secure visas for them from the UK or another Western country. He called on the FCDO to do more to get his staff out.

“The final blow to the op is that the UK are only granting myself and one of my executive assistants over the border today, and they haven’t even suggested they are going to issue the visas for some or the rest of my group,” he said.

“It’s a complete disaster really. It’s disgusting. It’s beyond horrible.”

British people left in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Western forces on Monday night have been advised by the Foreign Office to make passage to the UK via a third country.

But the Government has been criticised for failing to make diplomatic arrangements with Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to facilitate their travel prior to the fall of Kabul.

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, has flown to Qatar to hold talks on assisting the evacuations. He will be briefed on ongoing discussions between UK officials and the Taliban.

A FDCO spokesman said: “More than 15,000 people including British nationals, our Afghan staff and others at risk have been evacuated from Afghanistan by the UK since 15 August in one of the biggest operations of its kind in history.

“We will continue to do all we can to deliver on our obligation to get British nationals and eligible Afghans out of the country while the security situation allows.”

The Telegraph

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Posted by on Sep 2 2021. Filed under International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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