Bloodied and beaten by Taliban guards – this was the fate of one Australian citizen as he tried to reach Kabul airport today as the Islamists defied Joe Biden’s demand to let evacuation flights continue unimpeded with just hours left to get civilians out of the country.
The man, who was born overseas but has a wife in Adelaide and a brother in Sydney, was beaten as he headed to Hamid Karzai Airport along with his cousins – thought to include three men and two women – who were also beaten by the Taliban before the family was hauled away.
Video shows the man with blood running down his face and spattered across his polo shirt, saying that he is an Australian citizen and was trying to reach the airport. MailOnline has been told he was in Australia until June when he went to Afghanistan to visit a sick relative, and became trapped by the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country.
A source close to the family told MailOnline that one of the women accompanying the man had a phone hidden under her headscarf and has since messaged her Australian relatives to say the family has been split up and sent to different locations. Their current whereabouts and fates are unknown.
The kidnapping took place despite Joe Biden demanding that the Taliban ‘allow access to the airport for those who are transporting out and no disruptions to our operations’, in return for withdrawing US troops by August 31.
Keeping to that deadline means civilian mercy flights will have to stop in the coming hours so that planes can be diverted to evacuate troops, with former chief of UK defence staff Lord David Richards saying today that British flights will have to stop by Friday at the latest.
Tory MP Bob Seely branded the manner of the West’s departure from Afghanistan a ‘categoric disaster’, saying the idea that Al Qaeda militants would not take up ‘basket weaving in the Hindu Kush’ rather than plotting terror attacks was ‘for the birds’.
He told MailOnline: ‘If this does destroy Biden’s presidency, you have to question his fitness for the role.
‘You have got to question Trump’s moral fitness for the role, but you have got to address Biden’s intellectual fitness and health fitness for the role.
‘I’m sorry, he is just gaga… he doesn’t have a grip. How many slip ups before people think, yep, he can’t do the job.’