Defence minister ‘kept awake at night’ over fears Afghans could be left in the country

Kabul: James Heappey on leaving people behind in Afghanistan

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Defence minister James Heappey has told LBC that the thought of leaving behind Afghans who helped Britain keeps him “awake at night”. It came after chaos erupted at Kabul airport where the Taliban insurgents were tightening control as Afghans tried to flee.

LBC’s Nick Ferrari asked the former army officer  “You’re brave enough to have served Kabul, to have served in Helmand Province.

“It could be that you leave blokes behind who’ve helped you.

“Translators, drivers.”

Read more: Joe Biden exposed for incorrect claim about Afghan military ‘close to 50,000’

James Heappey said in reply: “As the Secretary of State had to admit the other morning and it hurts every single one of us here in the MOD that is a possibility.

“But that’s what keeps us awake at night.

“That’s what motivates us.

He continued: “And every single member of the armed forces, the Border Force, and the consular team to make sure that that is the smallest number of people possible.”

The UK have been evacuating Britons and Afghans from Kabul, flying out 300 people so far.

The UK hopes to help 6,000 to 7,000 eligible Afghan staff and British nationals in total.

However, chaotic scenes at Taliban checkpoints that surround the airport have been happening

Even with valid papers, people are struggling to get to the airport.

Reports of gunshots and beatings have been made by Afghans trying to get to the airport.  

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Some mothers were desperate and they threw their babies over to British soldiers.

Some babies fell on the barbed wire.

A Parachute Regiment officer said: “It was awful what happened.

By the end of the night, there wasn’t one man among us who was not crying.”
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