The terrorist bombing that killed at least 170 people outside Kabul Airport sent shockwaves all the way to the U.S., where Afghan immigrants have been left terrified for their loved ones struggling to flee the country after the Taliban seized control.
‘My wife is in Kabul right now and she was supposed to go to the airport yesterday,’ Ziatulla, a 43-year-old Uber driver from Fresh Meadows, Queens, where hundreds of Afghans have made their home, told DailyMail.com on Friday. ‘They told her to go home and wait.’
‘I worry so much. I’m not sleeping at all,’ he added.
The U.S. has just until Tuesday to get as many as 1,000 Americans out plus another 5,000 Afghans who helped in the war.
Ziatulla said that his wife, sister and brother-in-law are all in Kabul, trying to escape after the Taliban took over the capital and all of Afghanistan
Afghanis and their families gathered at the Masjid Al-Saaliheen mosque, in Queens, as they worried about family members still stuck in Kabul
Fears are growing that crowds could try to storm the airport once civilian mercy flights stop, or that opportunistic terrorists could attack the densely-packed crowd
Thousands of desperate Afghans are still arriving at the Hamid Karzai International Airport despite the constant threat of another terrorist attack.
International fury is mounting over President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. It led to the Taliban’s lightning-fast takeover of the country and sparked the desperate evacuation, with foreign countries being given an August 31 deadline to get their citizens out.
Then came the horrific bombing at the airport which took the lives of 13 American service members.
Ziatulla joined dozens of Afghans Friday for afternoon prayers at Masjid Saaliheen, a storefront mosque on Kissena Boulevard in Fresh Meadows where he prayed for his wife’s safe return.
‘I called her after the attack,’ he said. ‘She’s scared.’
His wife has been visiting family for the past two months in Kabul, where she’s staying with a 43-year-old cousin who served as a captain in the Afghan National Army.
‘He was already threatened by the Taliban because he was working with the Afghans and the U.S. government,’ Ziatulla said. ‘Luckily my wife was there with him. She’s trying to evacuate him if possible.’
Ziatullah found comfort in talking with fellow Afghan immigrants outside the mosque
Many Afghans in the U.S. are awaiting updates from family members about the situation in Afghanistan as threats of another attack at Kabul airport persist
Kids of Afghan immigrants walked about as their parents congregated at the local mosque
He blamed Biden for the breakdown in security.
‘I don’t understand – why are we losing more lives when we (the United States) come out of there?’ he asked.
‘Biden did not plan this well. He should have started preparing and evacuating people in February. It’s a disaster.’
Amanullah Fardoq, 46, who works at Bakhter Halal Kababs in Fresh Meadows, said his mother is struggling to catch a flight out Kabul.
‘She wants to come to the United States, but she can’t get out,’ he said. ‘I tell her I can’t do anything because of the immigration law. There is no embassy for her to go to in Afghanistan, nothing. There’s no way out.’
‘My mom, brother, sister and cousin are all in Kabul,’ he added. ‘With all the chaos, they’re being held up in their house and cannot go out because they live close to the airport.’
Fardoq, who worked in Afghanistan between 2012 and 2015 driving an armored vehicle to transport American contractors to work, spoke with his mother Monday as the threat of an imminent attack loomed.
‘She was worried, but she didn’t want me to panic so she didn’t cry on the phone,’ he said. ‘A relative who was with her told me she broke down and cried immediately after getting off the phone.’
Amanullah Fardoq said his mother, brother, sister and cousin are all trapped in Kabul
Desperate Afghans waded through a sewage ditch on the outskirts of Kabul airport this morning while pleading with soldiers guarding the opposite bank to put them on a plane out of the country as time runs out to flee Taliban rule
A lucky man is hauled to safety by a soldier (left) and allowed one step closer to freedom, but most were left wallowing in filth as their pleas fell on deaf ears with as little as 24 hours left until civilian mercy flights top
Mahmood, 51, who was collecting donations from worshippers, spoke Thursday with his 80-year-old father who’s in Kabul. The father, an American citizen, is waiting for the ‘dust to settle’ before returning to the States.
‘He told me, ‘I’m in no rush,’ that he has no desire to go rush to the airport after the explosion,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘The embassy called him and told him to come to the airport. He told them he’s going to wait until the dust settles.’
Mahmood expects the Taliban will let his father and other Americans leave even after the U.S. withdrawal is complete.
‘The Taliban, they’re not going to shut down the country and not let people travel,’ he said.
Mohammad Omar, 50, whose sister lives in Khandahar, said he’s anxious to see whether the Taliban indeed has moderated since the war began.
‘The Taliban says they’ve changed, that they’re different now than they were,’ he said. ‘Let’s see. We have to give them time to see if they bring real peace or not.’
Mohamed Omar, said he’s anxious about the situation in Afghanistan and has some hope that the Taliban could be more moderate than when the war first began
Afghans in the U.S. have blamed both former President Donald Trump, left, and current President Joe Biden for the situation in Afghanistan for their part in ordering a withdrawal
He said he doesn’t blame Biden for the chaos.
‘Trump signed the agreement with the Taliban to get out,’ Omar said. ‘There would have been chaos no matter which president was in power because there was no secure government in Afghanistan.’
‘No matter which regime is in charge, we just want peace,’ he added. ‘We’re tired of war.’
As the Afghan victims of the suicide bombing were being buried, friends and relatives spoke of ‘the best and the brightest of their generation being cruelly cut down in their prime.’
The faces of the tragic, mainly young, victims came from all corners of Afghan society, but they all shared a hope for a better life away from the Taliban’s rule.
The funerals taking place across the capital city have ranged from that of a talented young woman journalist to a member of the Afghan national taekwondo team. Several families were devastated by the loss of more than one cousin or sibling, and one family lost four young men.
The deaths at the airport have caused uproar in the U.S., with the fathers of at least two of the Marines killed in the bomb attack blaming Biden, saying he turned his back on the troops on the ground with his chaotic evacuation attempt that made them sitting ducks for ISIS-K.
A US marine carries a child towards an evacuation aircraft at Kabul airport as the final mercy flights depart the country
Afghan families are pictured boarding a military evacuation flight at Hamid Karzai Airport as the US prepares to withdraw from the country, with other western nations set to follow
An Afghan woman accompanied by a young child walks towards a US evacuation plane sitting on the runway at Kabul airport
Afghan civilians pack on to a Canadian evacuation flight out of Kabul, as western nations prepare to end the mercy missions
Navy hospital corpsman Max Soviak, Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, and Marines Hunter Lopez, Rylee McCollum, David Lee Espinoza, Kareem Nikoui, Jared Schmitz, Daegan Page, Taylor Hoover, Humberto Sanchez, Johanny Rosario, Dylan Merola and Nicole Gee were the U.S. service members killed in the attack.
The U.S. Central Command confirmed late on Friday that a drone strike had eliminated the suspected architect of the airport attack, an ISIS-K member in Nangahar province.
About 110,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since Aug. 14, the day before the Taliban entered Kabul, Reuters reported.
The U.S. has airlifted about 5,100 U.S. citizens
The U.S. now one of the only nations still evacuating from Kabul amid increasing threats of another ISIS attack.
Some of the Afghans being helped by Pineapple Express were injured in yesterday’s suicide bomb attack but it’s unclear if any were killed.