Afghans Killed Outside Airport Were Seeking New Lives Abroad

Mohammed Jan Sultani's father, Ali, right, looks at his son's Taekwondo championship certificates along with picture of him during an interview with The Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. Mohammed Jan Sultani had clutched his national Taekwondo championship certificates as he waded through the multitudes pushing to get into Kabul airport late last week. (AP Photo/Kathy Gannon)

(AP) — The 169 Afghans killed in Thursday’s devastating attack outside Kabul airport included several young people who dreamed of a better life outside the country. Some feared the Taliban’s return to power would bring a harsh version of Islamic rule in which women would largely be confined to their homes.

Afghans who had worked with the U.S. and its allies feared revenge attacks despite assurances from top Taliban leaders. Others simply dreamed of a better life. They thought if they waited long enough, endured the crowds and the warning shots, the summer heat and the stench of the canal, they would eventually get a seat on a flight to America, or at least to somewhere else.


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