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A 17-year-old Afghan soccer player died falling from a U.S. evacuation plane.



A member of Afghanistan’s nationwide youth soccer workforce was among the many individuals who have been killed as they tried desperately to cling to a U.S. navy airplane evacuating folks from Kabul this week, the nation’s official sports activities federation stated on Thursday.

His title was Zaki Anwari, and he was 17.

On Monday, a crowd of Afghans surged onto the tarmac of the worldwide airport within the frantic scramble to flee a rustic newly overrun by the Taliban. In a scene that shocked the world, and in only one wrenching second encapsulated the chaos of America’s exit from Afghanistan, a few of them chased plane carrying Individuals and tried to climb onto their sides, wings and wheels.

The younger soccer participant was amongst them, the federation stated.

“Anwari was one among tons of of younger individuals who needed to go away the nation and, in an incident, fell off an American navy airplane and died,” the group stated in an announcement on Fb.

The sports activities group of Afghanistan was in grief, the assertion stated. It wished Zaki a spot in heaven and supplied a prayer that God grant his household, buddies and teammates peace and persistence as they mourn.

The federation posted photographs of Zaki sporting his workforce’s purple jersey — he was No. 10 — and standing on a soccer area. One other picture confirmed him in a swimsuit and tie. Beside them have been photographs of an airborne U.S. navy airplane with what gave the impression to be a falling physique and a single purple rose.

Video taken on Monday confirmed a minimum of two our bodies dropping to the bottom from an airplane shortly after it took off. The Pentagon confirmed that two folks had died falling from the airplane, and physique elements have been additionally found within the touchdown gear of the plane after it landed in Qatar.

In a phone interview on Thursday from Kabul, Aref Peyman, the top of media relations for the sports activities federation and for Afghanistan’s Olympic Committee, confirmed Zaki’s dying.

Mr. Peyman stated Zaki had come from a low-income household in Kabul and had labored exhausting to realize his dream of being on the nationwide soccer workforce whereas additionally attending faculty.

“He was type and affected person, however like so lots of our younger folks he noticed the arrival of the Taliban as the top of his desires and sports activities alternatives,” Mr. Peyman stated. “He had no hope and needed a greater life.”

Many Afghans took to social media to voice shock and anger.

“Disgrace on the Taliban,” wrote Marzieh Zal on the federation’s Fb web page.

“Relaxation in peace expensive Zaki, I can not imagine you aren’t with us anymore,” wrote Mohammad Sharif Ahmadi in one other publish.

The fast collapse of Afghanistan to Taliban management set off panic amongst many Afghans, together with athletes, who feared {that a} return of extremist non secular rule would carry concerning the finish of their careers and different alternatives.

One Olympic athlete, the sprinter Kamia Yousufi, 25, who carried Afghanistan’s flag on the opening ceremony in Tokyo, has since fled to Iran, media stories stated. Mr. Peyman confirmed these stories.

President Biden has come below sharp criticism for the way the U.S. navy has withdrawn from Afghanistan after a 20-year occupation. Mr. Biden has defended his dealing with of the exit. In an ABC Information interview, he was additionally requested concerning the individuals who died clinging onto the airplane and dismissed the query.

“That was 4 days in the past, 5 days in the past,” he stated.


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