Only 1 of 125 guards at the British embassy in Kabul were evacuated despite promises by the UK government to help, report says

Kabul airport
People struggle to cross the boundary wall of Hamid Karzai International Airport to flee the country after rumors that foreign countries are evacuating people even without visas, after the Taliban over run of Kabul, Afghanistan, 16 August 2021.
  • Only one in 125 guards at the British embassy in Kabul were evacuated despite promises to help, the Guardian reported.
  • The UK conducted a rescue operation to evacuate people from Kabul after the Taliban captured Afghanistan.
  • The guard who was evacuated says his colleagues who were left behind are now at risk of reprisals.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Just one of 125 guards who protected the British embassy in Kabul were evacuated from the country after it fell to the Taliban, meaning there are now fears that they could be the target of violent reprisals, the Guardian reported.

Staff who guarded the British embassy at Kabul were employed on outsourced contracts by a firm called GardaWorld, which has now fired them, the Guardian reported. The Ministry of Defence initially refused to include them in its evacuation efforts because they were employed on outsourced contracts, but the Foreign Office later U-turned on the decision.

During the August evacuation effort, the department issued a statement saying: "We will help all those Afghan security guards contracted through GardaWorld to protect the embassy. They will be granted the right to enter the UK and we are now working through the challenging logistics of getting them out of Kabul."

But despite the UK government's promise of help, only one guard called Faiz successfully fled to the UK, the Guardian reported. Along with his wife and child, he is now quarantining at a hotel near Heathrow airport. He managed to secure a place on one of the last military evacuation flights out of the country last week.

During evidence to fellow lawmakers, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said this week that the guards had been on a bus to Kabul airport that had been denied entry, meaning the staff could not be placed on a flight.

Faiz told the Guardian that he is now unable to sleep due to concern for his former colleagues in Kabul, some of whom he said had already received threats from members of the Taliban.

"I'm worried about each and every one of them and their families. Some have been receiving threatening messages and warnings," he told the paper via email. "I can't sleep. I feel mentally disturbed."

Despite promises by the Taliban that they will not target people who worked with foreign countries, there are growing concerns that many of those individuals will be the target of violent reprisals by the organization.

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