An Afghan footballer who played for the national youth team was killed on a US plane trying to evacuate people from Taliban-held Kabul, the sports federation said on Thursday.
The General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports of Afghanistan, a government agency working with sports groups, confirmed Zaki Anwari’s death in a crash at the capital’s airport this week.
“Like thousands of young Afghans, Anwari wanted to leave the country but fell off a US plane and died,” the group said in a statement on Facebook.
Thousands of Afghans have gathered at the airport this week in an attempt to flee the country, following a Taliban lightning strike that ended after they took power when President Ashraf Ghani fled.
In a gruesome video from the airport on Monday, hundreds of people were seen running with a U.S. Air Force plane as it gathered speed on the runway – several people were severely held to the side.
More clips appeared on social media showing two people dying after a C-17 plane took off.
Human remains were later found in a one-wheeled well, the U.S. military confirmed, adding that it was investigating reported C-17-related deaths.
The plane was surrounded by hundreds of Afghans before the air force could unload the cargo, said Ann Stephen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Air Force.
Faced with the rapidly deteriorating security situation around the plane, C-17 crew decided to leave the airfield as soon as possible.
US President Joe Biden has come under pressure at home and abroad over how his administration was unprepared for an immediate Taliban attack – and the way US troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan.
Memories of the brutal Taliban regime of the 1990s – banning music and television, stoning people and confining women to their homes.