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Young afghan footballer dies after falling from US plane

People in Afghanistan are in shock after learning that an Afghan footballer who played for the national youth team fell to his death after trying to cling to a US plane airlifting people out of Taliban-controlled Kabul, a sports federation said.

The General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports of Afghanistan, a government institution that worked with sporting groups, confirmed the death of Zaki Anwari in the mayhem that erupted at the airport in the capital this week.

“Anwari, like thousands of Afghan youths, wanted to leave the country but fell off a US plane and died,” the group said in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday.

Thousands of Afghans have flocked to the airport this week in a bid to flee the country, following the Taliban’s lightning offensive that ended with them assuming power when President Ashraf Ghani fled.

In a harrowing video from the airport on Monday, hundreds of people were seen running alongside a US Air Force plane as it gathered speed on the runway – several men desperately holding onto the side.

Further clips on social media appeared to show two people falling to their deaths from a C-17 aircraft after it took off.

Human remains were later found in a wheel well, the US military confirmed, adding that it was investigating the reported deaths linked to the C-17.

“Before the air crew could offload the cargo, the aircraft was surrounded by hundreds of Afghan civilians,” US Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

Hundreds of people run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane as it moves down a runway of the international airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug.16. 2021. Thousands of Afghans have rushed onto the tarmac of Kabul’s international airport, some so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that they held onto an American military jet as it took off and plunged to death. (Verified UGC via AP)

“Faced with a rapidly deteriorating security situation around the aircraft, the C-17 crew decided to depart the airfield as quickly as possible.”

US President Joe Biden has come under pressure at home and abroad to explain how his administration was seemingly unprepared for the Taliban’s quick assault – and the way in which US troops are retreating from Afghanistan.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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