Afghan baby filmed being lifted over wall at Kabul airport safely reunited with father, US Marines say

President Biden says almost 13,000 people evacuated from Kabul so far

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 20 August 2021 20:37 BST
Baby handed over wall to U.S. soldiers at Kabul airport
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The Afghan baby filmed being lifted over a wall at Kabul’s international airport has been safely reunited with its father, US Marines say.

The youngster was seen on video being handed up to a waiting US Marine during chaotic evacuation scenes at Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Now the USMC says that the baby is with its father and “is safe at the airport.”

Video of the incident went viral on social media, as the baby was seen being handed up to a soldier, leaning down over razor wire to grab it by the arm

“I can confirm the uniformed service member depicted in the video is a Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The baby seen in the video was taken to a medical treatment facility on site and cared for by medical professionals,” Marine Corps spokesperson Major Jim Stenger said in a statement.

And later he added: “I can confirm the baby was reunited with their father and is safe at the airport.

“This is a true example of the professionalism of the Marines on site, who are making quick decisions in a dynamic situation in support of evacuation operations.”

US forces have evacuated around 12,700 people from the country since Saturday, with up to 80,000 Americans and Afghan allies still wanting to leave.

The US had to pause its evacuation flights for around eight hours on Friday, as processing facilities in Qatar had reached capacity and officials were trying to find other places to land flights.

Joe Biden has defended his administration’s handling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years, and said that chaos was impossible to avoid.

Mr Biden has said that he is prepared for US troops to remain in the country beyond the 31 August deadline for withdrawal to ensure that all American citizens can get out of the country.

US intelligence had warned the White House that the Taliban could eventually overthrow the US-backed government in Kabul, but the speed with which the Taliban swept back into power caught many by surprise.

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