Irish-based Afghan refugee’s family escapes Kabul airport bomb

Sharifa Wasie says brother was in queue for airport when bomb which killed 85 went off

Sharifa Wasie (48), a healthcare worker, said her family is trying to leave the country because they have worked for the Government and are being targeted by the Taliban.

Sharifa Wasie (48), a healthcare worker, said her family is trying to leave the country because they have worked for the Government and are being targeted by the Taliban.

 

An Afghan refugee to Ireland has said her brother and nephew narrowly escaped the bombing which killed 85 people at Kabul Airport on Thursday.

Sharifa Wasie (48), a healthcare worker, said her family is trying to leave the country because they have worked for the Government and are being targeted by the Taliban.

Her brother was in the queue for the airport along with thousands of other Afghans wishing to flee the country since the takeover by the Taliban.

Fortunately, he was not close to the centre of the bombing. “He is frightened and very shaken. We have had one message from him to say that he is still alive. We have not heard from him since. He is still in the crowd,” his sister says.

“I am very worried, I am under so much stress. My family are hoping to get out of there. It doesn’t matter where. I just want them to be safe.”

Her nephew had been in the queue at the location where the bomb went off an hour before. He fainted after the bombing. He saw Irish Rangers looking for Irish citizens in the crowd.

One of her brothers and his wife and child left the country three days ago and is now in Germany, but others have been unable to flee.

Both her brother and nephew are still trying to get out of Afghanistan.

Anti-Taliban

Ms Wasie came to Ireland shortly after the US invasion of the country in 2001. She can only remember strife in Afghanistan from the time she was a child, when the Soviet Union invaded the country in 1979.

Her family are from Logar near Kabul and they are known as a family who work for the Government and were anti-Taliban from the beginning.

“My family have left their homes. They cannot stay in the same place because the Taliban know where they live. They live in Kabul but are now somewhere else. If they could they would leave for Pakistan, but the border is closed.”

She said she would like to see members of her family coming to Ireland as refugees.

Ms Wasie visited in October last year after her father died. Her sister works as a teacher and her brother as a state architect. As government employees, they fear for their survival under the Taliban.

She had heard that forgiveness cards were given out by the Taliban to government workers in occupied provinces, but shortly afterwards “they killed these people”.

“We are all alone. I am talking to my family who are saying that somebody will knock on their door and they will be attacked.”

Like the majority of Afghan nationals in Ireland, she is anti-Taliban and thinks what is unfolding in her country is an international disaster.

“I can’t even talk about how badly they treated women,” she said. “I was there for seven or eight years when the Taliban were in government. They never gave any rights to women.”