The Taliban have moved in next door, says Brit stuck in Afghanistan

·3 min read
Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. The Taliban declared an
Taliban fighters patrol in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan (AP)

A British charity worker living in Kabul said the Taliban has moved in next door to him as the group moved into the capital and took control of Afghanistan. 

Former marine, Pen Farthing, who set up a charity to save street animals in Afghanistan, has pledged not to leave the country without his 25 staff and the 200 animals he has rescued.

Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, he said: "The Taliban have moved into the house next door. They moved in about two days ago."

He added that the city had become calm since the group moved in, saying: "On the first night of their move into Kabul, there was looting, gunfire, you know it was actually incredibly terrifying. 

Read: Afghan stowaway killed in US plane's landing gear fleeing Kabul 'was promising young footballer'

"The Taliban said they were staying on the outskirts that night but they actually changed their mind to say: 'We're were moving in,' and they bought the calm and control back. 

Pen Farthing, founder of British charity Nowzad, an animal shelter, stands in front of a cage on the outskirts of Kabul May 1, 2012. A former Royal Marine, Farthing adopted his dog Nowzad, named after a Helmand district, during his tour there in 2006. He then set up the charity, where dogs and some cats are neutered and vaccinated against rabies before their journeys abroad. Nowzad has given homes to over 330 dogs since it was founded, mostly to soldiers from the U.S. and Britain, but also from South Africa, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands. Picture taken May 1, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: ANIMALS SOCIETY)
Pen Farthing, founder of British charity Nowzad, an animal shelter, stands in front of a cage on the outskirts of Kabul in 2012 (Reuters)

"The city is calmer. No shops are open. No banks. But if you go towards the airport, the Taliban are not getting involved. 

"They are standing back and they are allowing the thousands of desperate people to converge into a place they then can't go any further forward. 

"I think they're just sitting there, saying: 'There you go America, there's the mess you created. You sort that out.'"

US soldiers stand guard as Afghan people wait to board a US military aircraft  to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul on August 19, 2021 after Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Shakib RAHMANI / AFP) (Photo by SHAKIB RAHMANI/AFP via Getty Images)
US soldiers stand guard as Afghan people wait to board a US military aircraft to leave Afghanistan (AP)

Farthing has been outspoken about the situation on the ground in Kabul, calling on Boris Johnson and the government to sort out the chaos. 

He wrote on Twitter: "My wife is at the North gate of Kabul airport being crushed in the stampede to get with my 34 week pregnant country manager. The UK military will not come out to rescue them @BorisJohnson @DominicRaab anything happens I will hold you personally responsible."

Watch: National youth team footballer Zaki Anwari 'dies in fall from plane'

His situation was brought up in the House of Commons on Wednesday with Boris Johnson saying: "I'm well aware of his cause and all the wonderful things he has done for animals in Afghanistan."

He said the government would do "everything we can" to help Farthing and people in a similar situation. 

It comes as a Taliban official told Reuters that they are"keeping their word" by providing foreign powers with their full support in evacuating their nationals from Kabul airport.

"We are facilitating safe-exit passage not just for foreigners but also to Afghans," the official said on Thursday.

Internally displaced Afghan women from northern provinces, who fled their home due to fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security personnel, receive medical care in a public park in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Internally displaced Afghan women from northern provinces in a public park in Kabul, Afghanistan (AP)

"We are preventing any form of violent, verbal clash at the airport among Afghans, foreigners and Taliban members."

Meanwhile, flag-waving protesters took to the streets of more Afghan cities on Thursday as popular opposition to the Taliban takeover spread.

Meanwhile, flag-waving protesters took to the streets of more Afghan cities on Thursday as popular opposition to the Taliban takeover spread.

TOPSHOT - Afghan people sit inside a U S military aircraft to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul on August 19, 2021 after Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Shakib RAHMANI / AFP) (Photo by SHAKIB RAHMANI/AFP via Getty Images)
Afghan people sit inside a US military aircraft to leave Afghanistan, at the military airport in Kabul (Getty)

Crowds of people seeking to flee Afghanistan swarmed the airport on Sunday with footage showing many trying to board a moving plane.

The US Air Force is investigating after human remains were found in the wheel well of one of its C-17 planes that departed from Kabul.

Elsewhere, photos have emerged of Afghans trying to hand babies and children's over razor wire fences to British soldiers as the Taliban takes control.

Watch: Confused and desperate people wait under Taliban 'security' for chance to escape

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