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Dozens among the 1,100 eligible Afghans who were forced to stay behind
Accused the UK of ‘abandoning’ them to the Taliban men who risked their lives beside British soldiers and claimed they felt ‘betrayed’

Former translators and their families reacted with fury yesterday after they were left behind by Britain as the mercy flights ended and Kabul’s airport gates closed on them.

They accused the UK of ‘abandoning’ to the Taliban men who had risked their lives beside British soldiers and said they felt ‘betrayed’.

Dozens of ex-interpreters are among 1,100 eligible Afghans and more than 120 British citizens who were forced to stay behind last night as the extraordinary evacuation entered its final hours.

Former frontline interpreter Hussain, 48, who was feared to have been a casualty in the Isis-K bombing at the airport as he waited with his family for two days, said: ‘We have been left to the enemy we fought with the British.

‘When I heard it, I wished we had been killed in the explosion at the airport.
It would be less painful to be killed instantly than for the Taliban to find me and deal with me in their wild cruel way.’

Musa, 35, a former supervisor of interpreters, said: ‘The British killed the Taliban with my help and now they will want to kill me because I have been made available to them.’

Witnesses said when it became clear the British had closed their gate providing access to the airport for the final time, there was screaming and tears from those outside. Some beat it with their fists, while others tried to climb over it.

Hundreds of translators and their families have been rescued in the 13-day airlift but campaigners estimate at least 50 entitled to relocate are being left behind.

Among those also stranded are former translators who are British citizens and went back to bring their families to the UK. Wives who were recently granted visas after a court battle to join their interpreter husbands in Britain are also left behind.

Former translator Rafi Hottak, who was blown up on the frontlines and is now relocated in Britain, said: ‘The Government should be praised for showing compassion to allow many translators and their families to come to the UK in recent times. But it has been too slow, too mean for many years, and this has resulted in brave men being left behind.

‘The Betrayal of the Brave campaign has been tireless in its support of translators when no one wanted to listen – it has brought about change and saved many lives, which we will never forget.

‘The translators left behind now need it more than ever and we know it will be there for us.’

In Kabul, Hussain said his neighbours wanted him and his family out. They felt it was not safe to live beside an enemy of the Taliban.

‘I feel disgust and fear at being deserted,’ he added. ‘I am responsible for six children – three of mine and three of my sister’s. I thought that was secure with the promise of life in Britain but now with me a target, they face uncertainly, misery and, for me, death.’

Hussain said he had gone to the British rendezvous point after being called for his flight. Despite reaching British soldiers, he had failed to make it into the airport.

‘I was so close,’ he said. ‘We were called to the gate by the British but then not let in. It is heart-breaking because, I think, Britain put the lives of many others before the interpreters.’

Musa said: ‘I am being left to them by the government of the men I could have died for. This is a disaster for me and my family – I was told to return home and wait for my call. The call did not come.

‘I am pleased for those who have escaped but this has been a betrayal of all those left behind. If one translator is killed because he could not be rescued, then all of our blood is on the hands of Britain.

Ullah’s family sold their home – and belongings – as they prepared for a new life free from the threat of the Taliban. Now, in the former translator’s own words, they have been ‘abandoned’ by Britain.

Ullah had worked for Britain’s Special Forces as part of a team known as 444, running a spy ring in the heart of Helmand. When the call for a flight came, he, his wife and four children were in their home city of Kandahar – where Taliban fighters had twice come to his home looking for him. ‘They were killing people secretly. They can do what they want now,’ he said.

‘The message from the British said to urgently go to Kabul airport. We knew it was dangerous to travel and I was being hunted. But it was more dangerous to stay, so we left within an hour, with just the small bag we had been told to bring.

‘The most important thing, we thought, was that we had the visa that would take us to the UK. But now that seems to have meant nothing. We were told to wait for the call to the airport but there has been nothing.

‘Now I am very worried. We never believed we could be abandoned.

Aziz was waiting to be called to a flight out of Afghanistan. Instead, the Mail had to break the news yesterday that the British Government’s airlift efforts had effectively ended.

Aziz reacted with silence. Then anger. Then tears. ‘We didn’t deserve this. The British said they would save us… we didn’t spare anything when we stood beside them. Translators were killed, injured, lost legs. But still we supported them. Still we risked our lives for them. How can we not be bitter when we are being left behind? Shame on your country.’

I will hide myself, I have no choice,’ he said. ‘I worry very much about what will happen if the Taliban find me. We are being left behind with an apology from the UK Government. An apology will not shield us from attack.’

Sharif fled his home city of Lashkar Gah hours before his home was seized by insurgents as a military base. Now he is hiding in Kabul.

The 31-year-old former translator said: ‘If the Taliban find me, then they will want to kill me. To them I am a traitor. This is the consequence of the British leaving without me and my family.

The father of four added: ‘We know the Taliban has been going door to door, looking for those like me who worked for the West.

‘They don’t want to invite us for tea. They want to punish us, and that will mean one thing.

‘We should not have been left here. It is a betrayal of those who risked their lives for UK soldiers. Reaching any country from Kabul will be difficult and dangerous.’

He now fears people ‘will betray me to the Taliban’, adding: ‘I am a stranger here and they will point us out wanting favour from the new rulers.

‘For Britain to leave us here puts me in danger and they will know that.

Source:- Daily Mail

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