Two men waiting to be evacuated to New Zealand have been caught up in the suicide bomb terror attack outside Kabul’s airport.
The two New Zealand visa holders had ignored official advice to avoid the airport after a “very high” threat of a terrorist attack.
Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of people flocking to Kabul’s airport, killing at least 70 people.
After the explosion, the visa holders were blasted underneath sewage water in a canal outside the airport’s perimeter with “dead bodies all over us”.
They told a source back in New Zealand who have been helping them try and safely evacuate that they had managed to get out.
Now, they were “covered in blood” and trying to get back to their homes in Kabul.
New Zealanders and visa holders trying to flee Afghanistan were warned yesterday [NZ time] to stay away from Hamid Karzai International Airport after reports of a major terror risk from a jihadist group.
The Herald understands that a group of 30 New Zealand visa-holders, mainly comprising women and children, who had hoped to try and make it through Taliban checkpoints and get on a freedom flight today, had heeded the advice and stayed home.
Kiwis registered on the New Zealand Government’s Safe Travel website were told to stay away, the airport having been judged as simply too dangerous.
“Do not travel to Kabul Airport,” the advice said, urging anyone near the airport to move to a safe location and await further advice.
“The situation in Afghanistan remains highly volatile and dangerous.
“Be aware of the potential for violence and security threats with large crowds.
“There is an ongoing and very high threat of terrorist attack. Take all extra precautions for your safety. Remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings. Check the Smartraveller website.”
Visa holders now face an uncertain wait.
Today’s terror attacks could signal an end to the evacuation missions which have safely got thousands of people out of Afghanistan which fell to the Taliban last week.
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has a small team inside the airport, while a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has made at least two missions to the capital’s airport.
The NZDF says all of its personnel are safe.
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