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26th Aug 2021

Taliban blocks ex-Marine’s evacuation of 200 dogs and cats from Kabul

Danny Jones

Pen Farthing evacuation flight blocked by Taliban

A worrying development

The Taliban have blocked ex-Marine Pen Farthing and his rescue animals from reaching Kabul airport. The 57-year-old claims his cats and dogs will die from the heat if they are not taken out of their travel crates soon.

The charity worker, Pen Farthing, has been stuck in Afghanistan for the past couple of weeks as he waited for confirmation that he could fly home with his staff and rescued animals.

Despite getting the go-ahead from the Ministry of Defence yesterday, there has been another twist in the tale that means he still cannot fly home. Pen Farthing’s friend and fellow animal welfare campaigner, Dominic Dyer has been urging the UK government to take action to resolve the hold-up.

Farthing initially charted a private plane to evacuate his 68 staff and nearly 200 dogs, accusing the UK government of delaying the process; however, although he was eventually given the green light by Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, it is being reported that his evacuation has now been blocked by the Taliban.

Dyer went on Good Morning Britain to further explain the current situation and appeal to Boris Johnson and the government.

It is believed that Farthing’s initial convoy of two trucks was stopped at a checkpoint last night, with one of the fighters accidentally shooting just above the group’s heads, according to some outlets.

The Nowzad founder tweeted Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen directly around half six this morning (2am local time), imploring him to allow them “safe passage”, having already wanted that “We’ve got hours now before animals start dying.”

Farthing said his party was held for around an hour before being allowed to resume their journey to the airport, only to still be blocked from departing.

The team have now parked their trucks in the shade and are spraying the animal crates with water to keep their pets cool. “There are some in the middle we can’t reach and we can’t start unloading them because it will attract too much attention,” he added.

“It is getting really desperate. We are appealing directly to the Taliban to let us through. We have permission to leave.”

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