WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – Right now, there are no flights coming in and out of the airport in Kabul, and all Americans and Afghan allies are being told to shelter in place until United States Marines are able to secure the airport.
This is as families across Connecticut scramble to get their loved ones out of Afghanistan as the situation there continues to worsen.
The Mir family of Waterbury has a cousin who is a high-ranking member of the Afghan Army, and tonight, he and the six members of his immediate family are in hiding. Their mother-in-law is also in Afghanistan as she was visiting when Kabul fell. She is now trapped and unable to get home to Connecticut.
“If they find them, definitely, they will kill them. If they know this family worked with Army or this family worked with Americans,” said Anita Mir.
Anita Mir and her brother, Salahuddin, are desperate to get dozens of their family members out of Afghanistan. The Mir’s say many loved ones made it out of their villages to Kabul, only to be left stranded as the city too fell to the insurgent fighters.
“I don’t want to lose another one,” Anita said.
Decades ago, Anita and Sal already lost their father and most of their village to the Taliban. The Mir’s coming to the United States as refugees, opening restaurant Hasna’s Grill on Wolcott Street in Waterbury.
Now, Sal’s mother-in-law is visiting her homeland and is trapped there as commercial flights home are canceled. News 8 is not identifying the Mir’s family members out of concern for their safety.
Most at risk is Sal’s cousin, who is a high-ranking member of the Afghan Army. He, his children ranging from 7 to 19, and his wife went underground as they are being hunted by the Taliban. The Mir’s say time is running out to get their loved ones, many of whom helped the Americans, out safely.
News 8 pressed Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Armed Services Committee, on the disastrous US troop withdrawal.
“Certainly, there will be time to assess responsibility and even blame,” Blumenthal said.
News 8 also asked what Congressional leaders are doing to get innocent Afghans and those who helped Americans out of the country.
“We’ll need to increase the number of special immigrant visas, the physical capacity for them to leave the country, the number of flights, but also the places they go, working with allies,” Blumenthal said.
Anita and Sal say most at risk are the youngest members of their family, children who their parents are desperately clinging to in fear the Taliban will take them.
The Mir’s are begging Connecticut leaders and the Congressional delegation to step in with visas, flights, and evacuation for their loved ones, and all those now living under Taliban control.