Mohammad Niazi: British taxi driver killed in Kabul attack along with wife and two children

Twenty-nine-year-old had travelled to Afghanistan to bring his family to the UK

Lamiat Sabin
Sunday 29 August 2021 13:26
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<p>Mohammad Niazi was ‘very, very desperate’ to save his family from Afghanistan, his housemate has said</p>

Mohammad Niazi was ‘very, very desperate’ to save his family from Afghanistan, his housemate has said

A British taxi driver, his wife, and two of their four children, and a shop owner from London, were among those killed in the Kabul airport attack.

Mohammad Niazi, a 29-year-old from Aldershot, Hampshire, travelled to Afghanistan on Tuesday in the hope of bringing his family to the UK.

His wife and their two daughters – both aged under 10 – were also killed in the attack on Thursday by Isis militants that killed more than 180 people.

Their two-year-old son and another daughter are being treated in hospital for their injuries.

Mr Niazi’s brother Abdul Hamid said the family had been killed during the gunfire in the aftermath of a suicide bombing, according to the BBC.

Mr Niazi’s friend and housemate, Imran, said Mr Niazi was “very, very desperate” to bring his family to the UK and that he had travelled to Afghanistan via Azerbaijan to save them after the Taliban’s return to power.

Mr Niazi’s wife had been in the process of completing her UK visa application.

“My heart is in pieces, there’s no words,” Imran has said.

“His car is parked outside my door, his bedroom is opposite the living room, we see his things everyday, everything reminds us of him. We don’t know how to get over it.

“He worked 16 or 17 hours a day as a taxi driver to give them a better life. He was so happy whenever he saved up to buy new clothes and toys. Everything was for the benefit of his kids to give them the best life ever.

“We’ve known each other for 14 years. He was like my brother rather than my friend.”

Imran’s family, who were also in Afghanistan, managed to get on to an evacuation flight on Friday.

Meanwhile, another British man who was killed in the airport attack has been named as 60-year-old Musa Popal.

He had left his home in north London at the end of May to fly to Afghanistan to visit family, and had planned to return home this month.

He was the owner of a shop in Edgware, north London, called Madeena Supermarket, which he ran with his children. His son Hidayat told Sky News his father moved to the UK in 1999 and was a British passport holder.

Mr Popal’s grandson, an Afghan national, is still missing after the suicide bomb blast by Isis-K militants.

Mr Popal’s wife and other children are still in Afghanistan and have been unable to leave, Hidayat said.

The British ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Laurie Bristow, tweeted that nearly 15,000 people had been evacuated but it was “time to close this phase of the operation now”.

He added: “But we haven’t forgotten the people who still need to leave. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help them.”

It comes as western countries are in the process of wrapping up, or having already finished, evacuations ahead of the deadline on Tuesday.

US troops have begun their withdrawal from Kabul airport, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby has said.

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