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Wounded Afghan Toddler Reunited With Family In UK

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LONDON:

An Afghan toddler wounded in a suicide bombing near Kabul airport during chaotic international evacuations last August has been reunited with his family in Britain, the government said Sunday.

Mohammad Raza, two, who was injured in the August 27 attack that killed scores of people, including 13 US troops, landed on Friday as part of a military airlift from a country that neighbours Afghanistan, Britain’s interior ministry said.

He has since rejoined his family, who had arrived previously and been granted a long-term visa to remain in the country.

“What happened to Mohammad was utterly heart-breaking,” interior minister Priti Patel said.

“I am delighted he has arrived safely and now he and his family can rebuild their life here,” she added.

Also read: Taliban warn US, EU of refugees if Afghan sanctions continue

The UK has airlifted more than 15,000 people — both British and Afghan citizens — from the war-torn country since the Taliban wrested back power.

It has committed to welcoming up to 20,000 people in the coming years, including around 5,000 in the first year, as part of an Afghan resettlement scheme.

On Friday, a group of LGBT Afghans arrived. Earlier this month, the government said it was working to finalise visas for Afghanistan’s junior female football team, whose members have fled to Pakistan.

Britain, which did not detail the injuries suffered by two-year-old Raza, said that he was supported on the flight by a team of medics.

Also read: World should send pledged aid to Afghans to avert economic, refugee crisis: UNHCR

The August 27 suicide bombing targeted throngs of Afghans gathered outside the airport hoping to flee Taliban-ruled Afghanistan as a frantic Western evacuation drive approached a deadline for completion.

The UK government also said Sunday it would channel, via UN agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the first £50 million ($68 million, 59 million euros) in £286 million of aid pledged in September to Afghanistan.

It will be spent on food, nutrition, shelter and medicine over the country’s tough winter months, as well as bolstering projects protecting women and girls from gender-based violence.

“Preventing a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan and preserving the gains of the last twenty years will require a truly global effort,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.




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