Exodus: Biblical scene as thousands flee Taliban-held Afghanistan walking miles through the desert across the Pakistani border and into Iran
- Remarkable clip shows thousands desperately fleeing Taliban-held Afghanistan
- Human caravan pictured moving across Pakistan’s desert border and into Iran
- Migrants who have survived the journey describe a scene of chaos, with elderly people, pregnant women and babies among those making the perilous trip
- Comes as MPs revealed their concern about a new influx of migrants into Europe
Remarkable footage shows the truly epic scale of the exodus of Afghans fleeing their country to head west.
And for British politicians concerned about an influx of migrants to Europe, these images will confirm their worst fears.
The mass migration across the desert where the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran all meet shows an endless river of people flowing between the mountains
In the footage, with the human caravan stretching back as far as the eye can see, few words are spoken
For these men, women and children, their initial destination is likely to be Turkey, still more than 1,000 miles away across Iran
For these men, women and children, their initial destination is likely to be Turkey, still more than 1,000 miles away across Iran, and from there many of them will hope to come to Europe and Britain.
A migrant who recently made the same journey said the stretch shown is at the end of a four-hour trek through rough terrain, where the Afghan refugees, having travelled briefly through Pakistan, continue their journey with Iranian people smugglers.
He said: ‘These are the poorest people, because there are other ways which involve less walking, but those routes cost more.’
The Afghans journey began in desolate Nimruz, Afghanistan’s most sparsely populated province, largely covered by deserts and mountains.
In the footage, with the human caravan stretching back as far as the eye can see, few words are spoken, and only the sound of goats being herded in the other direction can be made out.
The recent migrant described his journey along the same route: ‘After more than four hours of walking, we arrived in a valley and waited for darkness.
Migrants who have survived the journey speak of the chaos they have seen with thousands of vulnerable and elderly people now making the perilous trip, desperate to escape the clutches of the Taliban
The Afghans journey began in desolate Nimruz, Afghanistan’s most sparsely populated province, largely covered by deserts and mountains
‘At around 10pm Iranians came and they asked everyone for a code, or a keyword.
‘Then after everyone found his smuggler, we were divided into groups, each group with its own smuggler. Then we moved towards Iran, group after group.
‘I went through this way several times in the past. Previously there were maybe 200 or so, people but this time it was chaos.
‘Thousands were there. I saw women heavily pregnant, babies, old men. I remember the sound of crying babies echoing across the mountains.’
Yesterday, Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, forecast that the evacuations from Kabul airport were just the beginning of ‘a far greater humanitarian crisis’.
His agency has estimated that up to 500,000 Afghans could flee their country, and appealed for continued support from Afghanistan’s neighbours and the world community.
He said: ‘The scenes at Kabul airport these past few days have sparked an outpouring of compassion around the world at the fear and desperation of thousands of Afghans.
‘But when these images have faded from our screens, there will still be millions who need the international community to act.’