Follow the latest Afghanistan updates
A female Afghan army captain has recounted the harsh conditions she witnessed in Taliban-controlled areas before being flown to safety in the UK from Kabul.
Captain Muraal, 26, was rescued as part of the UK Government’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy alongside her immediate family, who were also in danger.
“The route to safety was harsh, a humanitarian disaster,” said Capt Muraal, whose surname is not being released for security reasons.
“We had a lot of challenges. The first challenge was how to get out of our house, because all of the city is controlled by the Taliban and, finally, the gates are very crowded and they were also controlling the gates and were not letting people in.”
Capt Muraal and her family eventually penetrated the Taliban blockade.
“With the support of British forces we have made it through here today and I am really glad for that,” she said.
“It feels great and I am relieved to be here inside the airport and I think my family are safe now.”
Footage released subsequently by the Ministry of Defence showed her boarding a British military plane with others, after passing checks with UK armed forces at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Capt Muraal served in the Afghan National Army for eight years. She was trained at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, in south-west England, and gained a master’s degree in military and security studies at King’s College London. Now she plans to further her education in Britain and wants to help the UK military “in any capacity” she can.
Capt Muraal is one of more than 7,000 Afghans who have arrived safely in the UK since April 2021 under Arap, the MoD said.
More than 5,000 of those have been flown from Afghanistan by the armed forces since August 13, said the British ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Laurie Bristow.