Thousands of refugees including brave British Army translators have been desperately trying to find space on the few flights leaving Afghanistan to avoid being killed by Taliban fighters.
Miles Routledge, 21, shared footage of him sitting alongside hundreds of other people fleeing the militant group as the aircraft touched down in the UAE
The banking intern, who was wearing a flak jacket, wrote on a caption: ‘I’ve landed in Dubai thanks to the brilliant people at the British Army. All safe!’
Mr Routledge, from Birmingham, had earlier posted a series of photos on message board 4chan and streaming site Twitch of his apparent trip around the war-torn country.
The Loughborough physics student announced yesterday that he had eventually secured an evacuation flight.
Mr Routledge wrote on Facebook: ‘Got Evacuated at 4ish (it’s 2am now) with 100 or so other civilians, couldn’t message as there were cars emitting signals that would set off bombs, it blocked my airpods from connecting so I think it blocked all wifi/data.
‘The Taliban let us go through the airport and we met many of them, very long transition period but everyone was smiling and waving at one another, some took selfies with them. I slept on a dirt/gravel road and woke up as cars went by. We’re in a new safe house and we’re all hydrated, happy and ready for a few hours of sleep.’
Shortly after he posted an update saying: ‘On the flight out we aren’t allowed any liquids at all, no razors and only 1 bag up to 10kg so everyone is tossing all their belongings into a pile.
‘People are donating each other their items because they can’t carry them. Some lads stuffed my body armour and bag with protein bars, over 20 of them. Very happy man (right now). Thank you lads.’
His mother Susan was distraught when approached at the family home in Sutton Coldfield yesterday.
Miles Routledge, 21, claims he has been abandoned by the British Embassy in Kabul, who he alleges have not responded to any of his phone calls or emails as the Islamist terror group streamed into the capital
Pictured: an image posted to 4chan shows a flight ticket to Kabul
In posts to message board site 4chan and livestreaming platform Twitch, Mr Routledge, from Birmingham, claims he was quizzed by armed Taliban militants while on his way to Kabul International Airport
A C-17 jet carrying 640 Afghan refugees that left Kabul on Sunday night as the Taliban claimed the city. The flight landed in Qatar. The refugees ran up the half-open ramp while US forces were preparing for take-off, according to an unnamed defense official cited by Defense One on Monday. At least one other C-17 has departed the area
640 Afghans cram onto US C-17 cargo jet – designed to carry just 150
The first photos have emerged of US cargo jets packed with hundreds of terrified Afghan refugees after they rushed the ramps before military personnel could close them in a desperate bid to flee the Taliban.
The US has so far flown at least two C-17 cargo jets out of Kabul and more flights are expected later this week despite chaos on the ground on Monday which left eight people dead, including desperate stowaways who fell from the sky in harrowing scenes.
A photo obtained by Defense One shows one of those jets filled with 640 Afghans, sitting on the floor of the plane that is fitted to carry 150 soldiers comfortably, but can take 171,000lbs of cargo.
The refugees – including many women and young children – ran onto the plane’s half-open ramp before take-off and ‘the crew made the decision to go’, taking them with them, an unnamed defense official said.
Joe Biden delivered a speech of quiet fury at the White House last night, defending his decision to bring home U.S. troops before blaming Afghan leaders for their failure to prevent the country collapsing.
‘I stand squarely behind my decision,’ the President said. ‘After 20 years I’ve learned the hard way. That there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces. That’s why we’re still there.’
Mrs Routledge told The Sun Online she had urgently been awaiting a call from the Foreign Office to discover whether her son would be kept safe amid the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul.
Her son had previously bragged of visiting Chernobyl, posting pictures in May saying it was two years since he visited the scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine.
In posts to message board site 4chan and livestreaming platform Twitch, he claimed he was quizzed by armed Taliban militants while on his way to Kabul International Airport.
They apparently asked him where he was from – to which he said Wales. He claims the fighters did not know where Wales was, and let him go. Mr Routledge said he later came across another armed convoy during the Taliban insurgency and took a selfie on one of their gun emplacements.
Speaking to the Times, he claimed he made the decision to visit Afghanistan after watching tourism videos on YouTube. He said that when the takeover began, he could not refund his flights so chose to travel instead.
Mr Routledge also said he had accepted the possibility that he might die in Afghanistan. In a message addressed to friends on social media, he apparently wrote: ‘I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and something has not gone to plan resulting in this situation.
‘There was no convincing me otherwise and I knew the risks, it was a gamble I took that went wrong despite my confidence and jokes.’
Mr Routledge said he came across two armed convoys during the Taliban insurgency, and took a selfie on one of their gun emplacements
The Loughborough physics student hid at a United Nations safehouse in Kabul prior to being evacuated
Mr Routledge has also previously bragged of visiting Chernobyl, posting pictures in May saying it was two years since he visited the scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine
C-17 jets were pictured taking off from Kabul on Monday followed by hundreds of desperate Afghanis, some of whom were clinging to the wheels on the same side of the plane that the footage was taken from
Yesterday he told viewers: ‘I was fully prepared for death, I accepted it. This trip has been a test of God. I’m very religious so I believe I’ll be looked after.
‘Before I left I wrote a letter to my friends saying that if I died, not to feel guilty, that I would die happy and religious and proud.’
He said that he would be safe because of a £15 joke purchase he made which gave him the right to use the title ‘Lord’, seen on his American Express card.
Taliban hunt UK interpreter who is in hiding with family in Afghanistan after his visa to Britain was revoked at 11th hour
An Afghan interpreter is now being hunted by Taliban kill squads after his visa to the UK was revoked last week despite the militant group’s shadow courts passing a death sentence against him.
Ahmadzai, who is hiding with his family after at least one assassination attempt, was branded a ‘threat’ to UK security by Home Office officials despite bravely serving alongside senior British Army generals, one of whom called the claim ‘rubbish’.
He told the Stories of Our Times podcast: ‘The only actions left are either to remain in Kabul and get killed by the Taliban, to cross the border to Iran and go there, or to be helped by NATO countries.
‘They have sentenced me to death, and ordered their fighters that I should be shot and killed wherever I am found. Three weeks ago my son was with me when four gunmen tried to kill me but I recognised them and they fled.’
The interpreter – referred to only by his last name for security reasons – said that working for the British forces ‘was my mistake’, adding: ‘Not only have I risked my life and made the Taliban want to kill me, but I’ve also risked the life of my kids.’
His harrowing story emerged as Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary and a former soldier, fought back tears as he admitted ‘some won’t get back’ from Afghanistan after the capital, Kabul, fell to the Taliban.
The student told his followers: ‘The Taliban may see that as reason enough to keep me alive, thinking it may hold some negotiating power as they’ll think I’m important. Let’s hope it won’t get to that stage though.’
MailOnline has contacted the British Foreign Office and the UN for comment.
US-backed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country for Tajikistan, effectively ceding power to the Taliban and bringing the 20-year Western occupation of Afghanistan to an end, while thousands of Afghan nationals rushed to the Pakistan border in a bid to escape Islamist rule.
Mr Ghani said in a Facebook post that he escaped Afghanistan to ‘prevent a flood of bloodshed’, claiming ‘countless patriots would be martyred and the city of Kabul would be destroyed’ if he had remained.
He did not disclose details on his current location.
Foreigners in Kabul were told to either leave or register their presence with Taliban administrators, while RAF planes were scrambled to evacuate 6,000 British diplomats, citizens and Afghan translators, and the British Ambassador was moved to a safe place.
The US and French Ambassadors have already been evacuated as the US rushes to rescue more than 10,000 of its citizens.
Italy’s defence ministry said a first military plane would arrive on Sunday to begin ’emergency evacuation’ operations, while Denmark, Norway and Finland are temporarily shutting their Kabul embassies, with Finland to offer asylum to 170 local staff and their families.
However, the Kremlin’s envoy said that there are no plans to evacuate the Russian Embassy in Kabul, as China, Russia, Pakistan and Turkey all appear set to formally recognise the rule of the Sunni extremist group which was created after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Bagram airbase was also surrendered to the Taliban by Afghan troops, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the US and NATO to build up Afghan security forces. Upon its takeover, hundreds of Taliban and Islamic State terrorists being held prisoner there were freed.
Commercial flights were later suspended after sporadic gunfire erupted at the airport, according to two senior US military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing operations.
Afghan nationals queue up at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman as they try to escape the country today
Evacuations continued on military flights, but the halt to commercial traffic closed off one of the last routes available for Afghans fleeing the country.
As night fell, Taliban fighters deployed across Kabul, taking over abandoned police posts and pledging to maintain law and order during the transition.
Residents reported looting in parts of the city, including in the upscale diplomatic district, and messages circulating on social media advised people to stay inside and lock their gates.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the US decision to withdraw from Afghanistan had ‘accelerated’ the current crisis and announced his government’s priority is to get UK nationals out ‘as fast as we can’ after chairing an emergency Cobra meeting in Downing Street.
More horrifying footage from Kabul airport showed the bodies of two people falling from a departing aircraft, while more footage later showed people retrieving three bodies
He also vowed that the Middle Eastern state must not become a ‘breeding ground for terror’ again.
But he was slammed by Tory MPs – including ex-soldiers Tom Tugendhat, Johnny Mercer and Tobias Ellwood – for presiding over Britain’s ‘biggest single foreign policy disaster’ since Suez and called for UK troops to be redeployed.
They also called the crisis a humiliation for the West.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was accused of ‘going AWOL’ after spending the past week on holiday abroad while the Afghanistan crisis unfolded.
The British Foreign Office said he was returning to the UK on Sunday and was ‘personally overseeing’ the department’s response to the situation.