CNN correspondent gives Afghan woman her scarf as blanket before flying out of Kabul

Network’s star was labelled ‘Taliban cheerleader’ by Ted Cruz as she reported on chaos

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Saturday 21 August 2021 14:32
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CNN’s Clarissa Ward keeps her cool as gunshots are heard during live report

CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward gave an Afghan woman her scarf as a blanket before flying out of Kabul.

Ms Ward jetted out of Afghanistan after reporting from the chaotic streets of the Afghanistan capital as the Taliban swept back into power as the US wound down its 20-year stay in the country.

The news network’s chief international correspondent tweeted a picture from onboard a C-17 cargo plane leaving Kabul, packed with Afghans, with the caption, “On our flight and getting ready for takeoff”.

Ms Ward hit the headlines herself earlier this week when Senator Ted Cruz branded her a “Taliban cheerleader” as she reported on the militant group’s return to control of Afghanistan.

Several days later she reported on how a member of her CNN crew was nearly pistol-whipped by a Taliban fighter as they covered scenes outside the airport.

But on Friday it was Ms Ward’s turn to go to the airport to board a flight to safety,

And she told her followers of the draining experience being undertaken by Americans and Afghans as they are evacuated.

“The fourth bird we were supposed to get on just got pulled. Going to be a long night here, especially for those we are talking to who have been here since yesterday evening. A woman just asked me for a blanket so I gave her my scarf,” she tweeted.

And before that she wrote: “Afghan evacuees try to sleep on the gravel with C17’s in the background. It’s a chilly night and incredibly loud, especially after 14 hours. One Afghan acquaintance tells me “it’s an insult to human dignity … I don’t know why the Americans are doing this.”

Ms Ward’s CNN colleagues were happy to see her on a plane out of Afghanistan.

“I’m so glad you’re getting on a plane to get out, and I just want to say, on behalf of everybody here at CNN and everybody who’s been watching CNN, your reporting has been brave and amazing ... We are so lucky to have you as a colleague,” said host Jake Tapper.

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