‘She died right in my arms’: Witness says little girl was victim of Kabul terror attacks

·4-min read

Watch: 'She died right in my arms': Afghan witness says small child was victim of Kabul blasts

Eye-witnesses have described the devastation caused by the bomb attack in Kabul, including one man who said he watched a five-year-old girl die in his arms.

At least 93 people were killed in the attack near the city's airport on Thursday, including 13 US military personnel and two British nationals and the child of a British national. 

It has prompted US President Joe Biden to pledge revenge on those who carried it out.

Evacuation flights have restarted at the airport following the attack, but Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said it is likely that people eligible to be resettled in the UK will be left behind as the effort is in its "final hours".

As people desperately tried to board remaining flights out of Afghanistan, witnesses to the bombing on Thursday described the tragedy as it unfolded in front of their eyes.

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of the August 26 twin suicide bombs, which killed scores of people including 13 US troops, at Kabul airport on August 27, 2021. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
The scene of the bombing at Kabul airport, which left at least 93 people dead (AFP)

Read more: Foreign Office staff left details of Afghans at British Embassy for Taliban to find

One, named as Carl, who had been working as an Afghan translator for the US Marine Corps, said he was trying to get out of the country when the bomb detonated. 

He tried to help a five-year-old girl who he found lying on the ground, but described how she died in his arms. 

"I got a baby girl, she was five years old, she died right in my hands. 

"I tried to help her. She was not my baby girl, she was somebody else's girl and I saw her on the ground. I picked her up to take her to the hospital but she died right in my hands."

'It was like a doomsday'

One former interpreter escaped unscathed despite being close to the explosion with his wife, three-month-old baby girl and three-year-old son.

"It was like doomsday," he said, "injured people everywhere".

Another Afghan who had been trying to reach the airport described seeing blood running through a sewage canal. 

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Volunteers and medical staff bring an injured man on a stretcher to a hospital for treatment after two powerful explosions, which killed at least six people, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. / AFP / Wakil KOHSAR
The bombing left dozens injured as people tried to leave Afghanistan. (AFP)

"For a moment I thought my eardrums were blasted and I lost my sense of hearing," he said. "I saw bodies and body parts flying in the air like a tornado blowing plastic bags. I saw bodies, body parts, elders and injured men, women and children scattered. That little water flowing in the sewage canal had turned into blood."

Milad who was at the scene of the first blast said: "Bodies, flesh and people were thrown into a canal nearby." 

"When people heard the explosion there was total panic. The Taliban then started firing in the air to disperse the crowd at the gate," a second witness said. "I saw a man rushing with an injured baby in his hands."

Zubair, a 24-year-old civil engineer, who had been trying for nearly a week to get inside the airport with a cousin who had papers authorising him to travel to the US, said he was 50 metres from a suicide bomber who detonated explosives at the gate.

He said: "Men, women and children were screaming. I saw many injured people – men, women and children – being loaded into private vehicles and taken toward the hospitals."

Following the bombing, Joe Biden gave a statement in which he said the perpetrators of the attacks would be 'made to pay'.

The final British flights out of Afghanistan were set to leave on Friday, with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace saying the effort was into its "final hours" after the closure of the main processing centre in Kabul at the Baron Hotel near the airport.

He told Sky News: "We at 4.30 this morning, UK-time, closed the Baron Hotel, shut the processing centre and the gates were closed at Abbey Gate.

"We will process the people that we've brought with us, the 1,000 people approximately in the airfield now and we will seek a way to continue to find a few people in the crowds where we can, but overall the main processing is now closed and we have a matter of hours.

"The sad fact is not every single one will get out.

"The threat is obviously going to grow the closer we get to leaving."

Watch: Biden pledges to 'hunt' down Kabul attackers

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