The daughter of a former interpreter who worked for an American company in Kabul was reportedly trampled to death by a crowd outside the airport on Saturday as Afghan citizens scramble to evacuate the country amid the deteriorating security situation.
The New York Times reported that the former interpreter was traveling to an airport in Kabul with her husband, 2-year-old daughter, disabled parents, three sisters and cousin when she got caught up in a large crowd of people.
The interpreter told the Times hours after the incident occurred that all members of her family were thrown to the ground and trampled by the crowd.
She recalled someone smashing her cellphone and another person kicking her in the head. She said she tried to take off her abaya, a robelike dress, because she was having a difficult time breathing amid the madness.
While she was trying to stand up, she looked around for her toddler and ultimately found her dead after being trampled.
“I felt pure terror,” the woman told the Times in a telephone interview from Kabul. “I couldn’t save her.”
The interpreter, whose identity was not been published because of safety concerns, said her daughter’s body was brought back for burial.
“My baby was such a brave child,” she told the Times. “When she heard the gunshots, she would just yell out, ‘Crackers!” in reference to the gunshots that infiltrated their neighborhood.
The woman said it is unlikely that she and her family will attempt another trip to the airport in Kabul anytime soon, telling the Times, “I’d rather die a dignified death here at home than die in such an undignified way.”
The interpreter’s story comes as American citizens and Afghan allies in Afghanistan are racing to evacuate after the Taliban took control of the country last weekend.
Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense & National Security — Marine who criticized Afghanistan withdrawal sentenced Air Force general becomes second woman to head US military command Military judge blasts Marine Corps's handling of officer who criticized Afghanistan withdrawal MORE told lawmakers on a phone call last week that people, including Americans, trying to flee the country have been beaten by the Taliban on some occasions, according to Politico.
The U.S. military is now working to pull American and Afghan personnel from Afghanistan. Roughly 25,100 individuals have been evacuated since Aug. 14, and around 30,000 since the end of July, according to a White House official.
In the last 24 hours alone, approximately 3,900 individuals have been evacuated from the country, the official added.