Locals react to casualties during American withdrawal in Afghanistan: 'I find that inexcusable'
KENT, Wash. - On Thursday, Q13 News spoke to several local people with ties to the massacre and chaos in Afghanistan.
Every minute that ticks by, the desperation escalates.
"It’s a mess people are desperate to get into airport," Ismail Mushwani said.
Despite the two bombings outside Kabul Airport that killed at least 13 US troops and dozens of Afghans, people are still willing to risk their lives to get out of Afghanistan.
Navid Hamidi says his family members including one of his sisters are still stuck in the country.
"There in the house right now in hiding close to the airport, try their luck again, hopefully," Hamidi said.
Meanwhile, Afghan native Ismail Mushwani from South King County is navigating a team embedded in Afghanistan. He says his team has been trying to get thousands of Afghans to safety. He says these people have been instrumental allies to US troops. Mushwani’s group is called No One Left Behind but that promise could be impossible to keep.
"I had families for 48 hours, they were trapped, they were not able to get the gates open," Mushwani said.
He says many got hurt and are in the hospital right now.
"We will give it another shot," Mushwani said.
But the organization CAIR says the latest intel coming from a military source told them the window of opportunity is closing for anyone to get out if they are not inside the airport already.
"We have over 1,600 people who have not been able to get out," Brianna Auffray with CAIR said.
The local attorney broke down in tears during the interview as she talked about who those 1,600 people are. She says some of them are US citizens, lawful permanent residents and those with special visas for helping the US.
Auffray is also panicked over the safety of a group she sent to the airport before the bombings.
"It’s incredibly tragic, I still haven’t been able to reach the groups with US citizens that I sent to the airport," Auffray said.
As for the people who won’t get out, Auffray fears for their lives.
Auffray says she just spoke with a translator who worked with American forces. He was in the process of getting a visa when the turmoil began. There is now no path through the chaos to safely get a visa and make it to the US.
The translator has gone into hiding from Taliban forces. The man shared heartbreaking pictures of his teenage brother who he says was burned and beaten by the Taliban who is hunting him down.
"We knew we were withdrawing and we knew there were people on the ground needing help to get out, and we aren’t even able to get US citizens out, I find that inexcusable," Auffray said.
Both Mushwani and Hamidi are pleading with the Biden administration to change its strategy.
"There shouldn’t be a deadline, the deadline should be when we bring the last person out," Mushwani said.
"Support your Afghan allies as they supported you when you were in Afghanistan," Hamidi said.
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