Pen Farthing latest – Taliban stabbed & MACHINE GUNNED my dogs on way to UK-bound Nowzad rescue flight, ex Marine says

PEN Farthing's rescued dogs are adjusting to life in quarantine after jetting into Heathrow from Afghanistan this weekend.

The ex-Royal Marine yesterday said almost all of his 173 cats and dogs are lined up for loving new homes as he praised the "phenomenal" efforts of troops in getting his animals to Britain.

After landing, he took to Twitter to express his thanks for being evacuated out of Afghanistan.

But in an interview with the Mail he revealed one of his dogs was killed on the road to Kabul Airport after being stabbed at a Taliban checkpoint, and said a pal told him the extremists had shot another dog named Brutas.

Read our Kabul explosion live blog for the latest updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOMINIC RAAB SAYS CLAIMS OF NO CALLS TO PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN GOVERNMENTS 'NOT CREDIBLE'

    Dominic Raab has denied claims that he did not speak to ministers in Afghanistan and Pakistan for months ahead of the evacuation crisis, describing them as "not credible and deeply irresponsible".

    The Sunday Times reported that the Foreign Secretary had "shown no interest" in taking calls from either country's government in the six months before the evacuation.

    The newspaper cited an unnamed Pakistani official, who said Mr Raab had thought of Afghanistan as "yesterday's war".

    On Tuesday, Mr Raab hit back at the claims, and said there had been a "team effort" across the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to communicate with the two countries.

    Mr Raab told Sky News: "Anyone that is toddling off to the Sunday Times or any other newspaper at a time of crisis, including the evacuation which has been two weeks running, giving buck-passing briefings either at me or the FCDO is, frankly, not credible and it is deeply irresponsible."

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK SAYS IT IS TOO EARLY TO DECIDE HOW TO WORK WITH THE TALIBAN

    A spokesman for Boris Johnson said on Tuesday it is too early to decide if, and how, the government will work with the Taliban on tackling the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

    The spokesman said this will partly depend on whether Taliban upholds pledges on issues such as respecting human rights.

    "At this stage it is too early to dictate if and how we would work with the Taliban going forward," the spokesman said.

    "A lot will depend on their actions from now. As we have said throughout, we intend to put pressure on them to uphold these standards and claims." 

  • Joseph Gamp

    KABUL RESIDENT SAID HE COULDN'T SLEEP DUE TO TALIBAN GUNFIRE THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT

    A resident of Kabul has said he and his family were unable to sleep last night due to the noise of gunfire as the Taliban celebrated the departure of US troops from Afghanistan.

    The Afghan, who is not being named to protect his security, told the PA news agency the Taliban were shooting into the sky until 3.30am.

    "Firing began when US last airplane took off from airport… we didn't (sleep) because of gunshots," he said.

    He added that many people in the capital are already suffering from money, food and medicine shortages amid shop closures and border restrictions.

    "Some of them (are) selling their house items to get some food or medicines for his or her family," he added.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ISLAMIC STATE CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROCKET ATTACK ON KABUL AIRPORT

    Islamic State claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Kabul airport on Monday, the group’s Nasher News said on its Telegram channel.

    “By the grace of God Almighty, the soldiers of the Caliphate targeted Kabul International Airport with six Katyusha rockets,” it said.

    U.S. anti-missile defences intercepted as many as five rockets fired at Kabul’s airport early on Monday, a U.S. official said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    AFGHAN FORMER ENGLISH TEACHER 'REGRETS' WORKING WITH THE UK

    A former English language teacher stranded in Afghanistan said he "regrets" working with the UK mission in the country because of the grave danger he now faces.

    The unnamed teacher said he has been targeted by the Taliban because his face is on billboards in Afghanistan advertising English classes.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "I regret working with the English. I regret helping people learn English. Why did I work for people who left me and fled and left me alone here? My background is hurting me nowadays.

    "They are looking for me because I've got pictures in billboards advertised for classes. Also, I worked for the British Council. I worked for the UK for the past eight or nine years."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING DESCRIBES HOW UK SOLDIERS HAD TO GIVE WAY TO TALIBAN

    Pen Farthing has spoken out about his ordeal in Kabul as he attempted to evacuate his charity, Nowzad, and his 173 rescue animals from the Afghan capital.

    “At the airport the British troops are on the inner side of the barbed wire,” he explained yesterday in his first full interview since leaving the UK for Norway to be reunited with his new wife, Kaisa, 30, who fled their home in Kabul two weeks ago.

    “You can talk to them but they can’t do anything as the Taliban check people at gunpoint. The Afghan people were standing there with all their belongings in a line.

    “There was one guy whose paperwork they didn’t like so they’re like, ‘Come on, out’, with an AK rifle in his back.

    “I was just watching this guy trying to wave at his wife and kids as he was being dragged off at gunpoint.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    BORIS JOHNSON TELLS SOLDIERS FAMILIES: ‘YOUR SUFFERING WAS NOT IN VAIN’

    Addressing the families and loved ones of the British troops who “gave their all”, Mr Johnson said: “Your suffering and your hardship were not in vain.”

    He added: “It was no accident that there’s been no terrorist attack launched against Britain or any other western country from Afghanistan in the last 20 years.

    “It was thanks to the bravery of our Armed Forces who fought to knock out (Osama) Bin Laden’s networks.

    “And, thanks to the devotion of British troops and aid workers and diplomats and others, we’ve helped educate 3.6 million girls.

    “Whatever the future may hold for Afghanistan, they will have that gift for the rest of their lives, a gift they will pass on to their daughters as well as their sons.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOMINIC RAAB DENIES CLAIMS HE CALLED AFGHANISTAN ‘YESTERDAY’S WAR’

    The Foreign Secretary has denied claims in the Sunday Times he did not take regular calls from Afghan and Pakistani ministers during the evacuation from Kabul airport, allegedly because he thought Afghanistan was “yesterday’s war”.

    Dominic Raab told Sky News: “Anyone that is toddling off to the Sunday Times or any other newspaper at a time of crisis, including the evacuation which has been two weeks running, giving buck-passing briefings either at me or the FCDO is frankly not credible and it is deeply irresponsible.

    “I have spoken, for example to foreign minister Qureshi (of Pakistan) more intensively given the evacuation but we have absolutely been on this, and you can see we have been on this… why? Because we have got 17,000 people out.”

    He later told LBC: “I can’t tell you my precise call sheet for the last six months.”

    But he added he was part of a “team of ministers” and delegated some phone calls to colleagues including Lord Ahmad, saying: “It is right that you have delegation, a division of labour if you are going to operate effectively as a team. Anyone who tells you otherwise has not done a job like this.

  • Joseph Gamp

    EX-MARINE EVACUATES ANIMALS FROM KABUL – BUT SHELTER STAFF LEFT BEHIND

    A former Royal Marine has succeeded in evacuating to the UK around 170 dogs and cats from an animal shelter in Afghanistan.

    But Paul “Pen” Farthing’s privately funded charter flight, which arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport at about 7.30am on Sunday, was not carrying his 24 staff and dependents from the Nowzad shelter in Kabul.

    Dominic Dyer, an animal welfare campaigner and supporter of Mr Farthing, said the former marine was forced to travel back alone after being told it was not possible to find people to fill the plane’s seats.

    Mr Farthing’s campaign to get workers and animals from the shelter out of Afghanistan has caused controversy in recent days, after receiving a huge amount of public support.

    Mr Dyer said the shelter staff were “still in their homes” with the charity in contact with them, adding that efforts would be made to try to get them out of Afghanistan.

    “They are one of thousands of Afghans… that have a right to leave the country but actually have no safe passage out at the moment,” he said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING SAYS HE'S 'NOT WORRIED WHAT POLITICIANS ARE SAYING' ABOUT HIM AS HE APOLOGISES TO PETER QUENTIN

    Pen continued: "Peter Quentin had told me six days before the staff had been approved to leave the country but, for whatever reason, they wouldn't give me the paperwork.

    "You can imagine as the window between where we were and when the Americans were pulling out got smaller and smaller I was getting pretty stressed. 

    "Quentin was the only person I had a phone number for. I guess that's why he got both barrels. As far as the person who decided to release that voicemail is concerned, if that's their priority in life let them crack on. I've apologised for the language I used but that's it."

    He defiantly added: "I'm not worried about what some politician is saying about me. That's not on my radar.

    "What's on my radar is that this ill-thought out withdrawal has destroyed a country overnight and cost countless lives."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING 'DOESN'T EVEN REMEMBER' LEAVING ANGRY VOICEMAIL FOR GOVERNMENT AIDE

    The ex-marine hit headlines after a leaked voicemail message appeared to reveal the animal activist leaving a tirade for a Government aide.

    But Pen says his recollections of leaving the angry message are vague.

    He explained: "I don't even remember making it 'I totally forgot about it until somebody sent me a tweet that said, 'Pen Farthing's explosive rant…' I thought, 'What the hell are they going on about?"

    "It was a heat-of-the-moment thing. We needed paperwork for our staff and their families to be able to go to the airport."

  • Joseph Gamp

    MUM OF BABY INJURED IN KABUL BOMBING BEGS PM TO HELP REUNITE HER WITH HER TWO CHILDREN

    THE grieving young mum of a baby boy gravely hurt in the Kabul Airport suicide bombing is pleading with PM Boris Johnson to help reunite her with her two children.

    Basbibi Raza, 19, wept as she revealed that Muhammad Raza — two next month — needs a life-saving operation in the next 48 hours.

    The tot was hit by shrapnel in the blast which killed his dad Miraj and grandad Sultan, 48.

    He has already had surgery in Afghanistan where he remains with his five-month-old sister, Kalsoom.

    Basbibi was split from her family moments before Thursday’s attack which killed at least 170, including 13 US troops and three Brits.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GRAPHIC: WHAT COMBAT GEAR HAS THE TALIBAN STOLEN FROM THE US MILITARY?

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING SAYS 'HUMAN MISERY' HE SAW IN KABUL 'WILL TAKE A LONG TIME TO GET OUT OF HIS HEAD'

    The ex marine continued: "I think it'll take a long time to ever get out of my head having to say goodbye to the two members of staff who drove the truck for me to get me into the airport along roads just lined with people.

    "There were thousands and thousands of them in makeshift camps waiting for their turn to try to get into the airport – women, children…"

    He added: "And you should have seen the human misery in that hangar – the possessions people had left behind – photographs, hats, children's toys. 

    "I was sitting amongst all that when someone tweeted about my foul-mouthed rant [to Defence Minister Ben Wallace's special advisor Peter Quentin]."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING SAYS TALIBAN FIGHTERS SHOT AND KILLED RESCUE DOGS

    Pen told the Mail Online that as he passed through the gates of Kabul Airport, he received a text saying Taliban fighters had shot tow of his friend's dogs.

    The former marine recalled: "It was from my mate Dave who ran a security company in Kabul.

    "He got out literally two hours before me, but kept his compound and left his two pet dogs with the staff.

    "He texted: 'the bastards just shot Brutus. They went round the compound, saw the dogs, dragged them into the open and shot them."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PEN FARTHING DESCRIBES HOW UK SOLDIERS HAD TO GIVE WAY TO TALIBAN

    Pen Farthing has spoken out about his ordeal in Kabul as he attempted to evacuate his charity, Nowzad, and his 173 rescue animals from the Afghan capital.

    "At the airport the British troops are on the inner side of the barbed wire," he explained yesterday in his first full interview since leaving the UK for Norway to be reunited with his new wife, Kaisa, 30, who fled their home in Kabul two weeks ago.

    "You can talk to them but they can't do anything as the Taliban check people at gunpoint. The Afghan people were standing there with all their belongings in a line.

    "There was one guy whose paperwork they didn't like so they're like, 'Come on, out', with an AK rifle in his back.

    "I was just watching this guy trying to wave at his wife and kids as he was being dragged off at gunpoint."

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOMINIC RAAB SAYS UK MADE 'REAL, TANGIBLE GAINS' OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN

    The Foreig Secretary this morning saidthe UK had made "real, tangible" gain from 20 years ofmilitary action in Afghanistan.

    Speaking to Sky News, Dominic Raab said: "We have got to look at the gains that we made because of the sacrifice of so many – British forces, US forces and Allied forces.

    "We haven't seen, in that 20 years, Afghanistan used as a base for terrorism abroad. We have with our aid money and our wider development policy got 10 million more children into education – I think by the time we had left four in 10 of those were girls, if you look at the maternal mortality rate – so mums dying in pregnancy or childbirth – that was down by 50 percent.

    "So there were real, tangible gains for all that sacrifice. Of course, now the focus is to recognise the new reality, learn the lessons of course from it but also focus on what we can do going forward."

  • Joseph Gamp

    PICTURED: AFGHAN PARALYMPIAN POSES AT TOKYO GAMES AFTER FLEEING COUNTRY

    Afghan athlete Hossain Rasouli poses before competing in the men's T47 long jump at the Tokyo Paralympics at the National Stadium in Tokyo.

    Rasouli arrived in Tokyo three days before on August 28 after being evacuated from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

    Many people are still trapped in the country after evacuations by allied forces winded down.

    Afghan athlete Hossain Rasouli poses before competing in the men's T47 long jump at the Tokyo Paralympics
  • Joseph Gamp

    TOP AL QAEDA ARMS DEALER AND BIN LADEN AIDE RETURNS TO AFGHANISTAN

    Top Al-Qaeda arms supplier Amin ul-Haq, who was also responsible for guarding terror mastermind, was filmed returning to his hometown in the Nangahar province of Afghanistan.

    Ul-Haq managed to escape with bin Laden when the pair were cornered by US forces in the Tora Bora caves, where they fled to after the American-led invasion following 9/11.

    His return to Afghanistan will fuel fears that the Taliban will once again harbour terrorists planning to attack the West as they did prior to the attacks on the US.

    The video shows him waving to admirers from inside a car and at one point it stops and he winds down the window.

    Some bystanders crowd the vehicle’s passenger side, with men taking turns grasping and even kissing his hand.

  • Joseph Gamp

    NUMBER OF UK RESIDENTS STILL IN AFGHANISTAN 'IN THE LOW HUNDREDS' SAYS FOREIGN SEC

    Dominc Raab said the number of UK residents still in Afghanistan is in the "low hundreds".

    The Foreign Secretary told Sky News: "We lament the fact that anyone would be left behind.

    "I would just say that since April when we have been planning and instituting this over 17,000 British nationals, Afghan workers, vulnerable special cases are out. I know that the number of UK nationals – the particular responsibility of the Foreign Office – is now down at a very low level."

    When asked about exact numbers, he replied: "Low hundreds, given that we have taken 5,000 out, and most of those are difficult cases where it is not clear around eligibility because they are undocumented."

    Mr Raab added the Government was now working with countries neighbouring Afghanistan on a "workable route through" for UK nationals to escape.

     

  • Joseph Gamp

    AFGHANS WHO TRY TO FLEE ACROSS BORDERS WILL FACE 'A CHALLENGE', SAYS DOMINIC RAAB

    The Foreign Secretary has said it will be a "challenge" for people trying to escape Afghanistan by fleeing to a border.

    Mr Raab was asked by Sky News what advice the Foreign Office was giving to UK nationals and Afghans who had helped British forces who wanted to escape via one of Afghanistan's neighbouring countries.

    He replied: "That is a challenge, which is why we are holding very squarely the Taliban to their explicit assurances – they have made them bilaterally to us, they have made them to other countries and we have now firmed this up with a UN security council resolution – that they must allow safe passage, not just for our nationals but for Afghans, particularly vulnerable ones, who wish to leave."

  • Joseph Gamp

    FORMER ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER 'REGRETS' WORKING WITH UK MISSION FOR AFTER 'THEY FLED AND LEFT HIM ALONE'

    A former English language teacher stranded in Afghanistan said he "regrets" working with the UK mission in the country because of the grave danger he is in now.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the unnamed man said: "I regret working with the English. I regret helping people learn English. Why did I work for people who left me and fled and left me alone here? My background is hurting me nowadays.

    "They are looking for me because I've got pictures in billboards advertised for classes. Also, I worked for the British Council. I worked for the UK for the past eight or nine years."

    The teacher tried to flee Afghanistan shortly after the Taliban took over, but found there was no way for him to escape. He applied for the evacuation scheme but had "no reply".

    "Last night was the worst," he concluded. "It was, the whole night, guns while you're sleeping. It damages your mind. My fate will be the same, like others."

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOMINIC RAAB DENIES UK EVACUATION PLAN CONTRIBUTED TO RISK OF TERROR AT KABUL AIRPORT

    Dominic Raab has denied claims the UK's evacuation plan may have contributed to the risk of a terror attack at Kabul airport.

    Dominic Raab said it was "just not true" to suggest the UK called for the airport's Abbey Gate to be left open for part of its exit operation, which then contributed to the attack by Isis-K, the offshoot of the so-called Islamic State.

    He told Sky News: "We co-ordinated very closely with the US, in particular around the Isis-K threat which we anticipated, although tragically were not able to prevent, but it is certainly right to say we got our civilians out of the processing centre by Abbey Gate, but it is just not true to suggest that other than securing our civilians inside the airport that we were pushing to leave the gate open.

    "In fact, and let me just be clear about this, we were issuing changes of travel advice before the bomb attack took place and saying to people in the crowd, about which I was particularly concerned, that certainly UK nationals and anyone else should leave because of the risk."

  • Joseph Gamp

    IDS LABELS CRITICISM OF DOMINIC RAAB AS 'CHILDISH AND PATHETIC'

    Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has described criticism of Dominic Raab's handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan as "childish and pathetic".

    Speaking on LBC, Sir Iain said: "A lot of the briefing against Dominic Raab is rather childish and pathetic, during the course of a crisis where you want this thing settled.

    "You don't want to have a debate about whether somebody should be there or not there, as long as they're doing their job and you want them to get on with that job.

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOMINIC RAAB DENIES CLAIMS HE CALLED AFGHANISTAN 'YESTERDAY'S WAR'

    The Foreign Secretary has denied claims in the Sunday Times he did not take regular calls from Afghan and Pakistani ministers during the evacuation from Kabul airport, allegedly because he thought Afghanistan was "yesterday's war".

    Dominic Raab told Sky News: "Anyone that is toddling off to the Sunday Times or any other newspaper at a time of crisis, including the evacuation which has been two weeks running, giving buck-passing briefings either at me or the FCDO is frankly not credible and it is deeply irresponsible.

    "I have spoken, for example to foreign minister Qureshi (of Pakistan) more intensively given the evacuation but we have absolutely been on this, and you can see we have been on this… why? Because we have got 17,000 people out."

    He later told LBC: "I can't tell you my precise call sheet for the last six months."

    But he added he was part of a "team of ministers" and delegated some phone calls to colleagues including Lord Ahmad, saying: "It is right that you have delegation, a division of labour if you are going to operate effectively as a team. Anyone who tells you otherwise has not done a job like this.

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