Taliban blocks ex-Marine's evacuation of 200 dogs and cats from Kabul
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.
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.
Boris Johnson get @PenFarthing his people & animals in Kabul airport now before lives of people & animals are put under threat. We have a plane leaving today to rescue them which you have committed to allowing us to land @ZacGoldsmith @carrielbjohnson @BWallaceMP #OperationArk pic.twitter.com/OC5Abr8CZQ
— dominic dyer (@domdyer70) August 26, 2021
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.
Friend of Pen Farthing Dominic Dyer tells @CharlotteHawkns and @ranvir01 that plans are being put into place to get Pen, his staff and the animals to safety.
He is calling on the government to resolve the issue quickly with no more mixed messaging. pic.twitter.com/f3NGAGPE9m
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) August 26, 2021
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."
We have been here for 10 hours after being assured that we would have safe passage. Truly would like to go home now. 🙏🏼 Let’s prove the IEA are taking a different path.
— Pen Farthing (@PenFarthing) August 26, 2021
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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