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International - August 26, 2021

‘Many hurt’ in explosion near hotel

'Many hurt' in explosion near hotel

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Alicia Kearns, a member of the foreign affairs and national security strategy committees, said there had been “many hurt” in an attack near the Baron Hotel, where the UK is processing Britons and Afghans eligible for evacuation.

The Conservative MP tweeted: “A bomb or attack with gunfire at northern gate of Baron’s Hotel. Worried this will devastate evacuation – so many hurt. My heart is with all those injured and killed.”

Her colleague, Nus Ghani, said she was on the phone to somebody outside Kabul airport when the blast there took place.

She later said he was “ok” and was heading to a “safe house”.

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said the reports from Kabul were “devastating”.

“This is an appalling and cowardly attack on those already fleeing unimaginable horrors,” she added.

“My thoughts are with the Afghan people and the British, US and international personnel who have remained at the airport to save as many lives as possible.”

It hits you like a brick as soon as you put your foot on the tarmac at Kabul international airport.

The intensity, the urgency, the darkness of this hour. In every direction, there are the huge grey military transport planes from the US and many other countries. Military helicopters are in the sky.

Heading towards every single plane are long queues of Afghans. The lines don’t seem to end. They have been told they can only bring one suitcase and the clothes they are wearing, as they leave their country behind – the country now controlled by the Taliban.

But it’s not just the country they are leaving. They are leaving behind the life they lived, and for the young educated generation, the life they built up, the dreams they cherished over 20 years.

There are said to be 14,000 people inside this airfield, controlled by US military, waiting to board.

Freelance journalist Bilal Sarwary was among those who made it onto the airfield, having left behind everything he had worked so hard to build, save for a few pairs of clothes and his young family.

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