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Taliban arrests and releases former British soldier for trying to help Afghans escape

Afghans have been trying to flee their war-torn country after the Taliban takeover (Photo: IANS)

The Taliban arrested a former British soldier on Thursday after he was found trying to evacuate 400 Afghans into a neighbouring country. He was later released and allowed to leave the country.

Ben Slater, former British soldier who now runs the development organisation–Nomad Concepts Group, travelled all the way from the UK to Afghanistan to help the Afghans flee. A large number of the people he was trying to help were single women without male family members.

Slater undertook the risky task of transporting the people to the border after he could not get them tickets on the evacuation flights. British newspaper The Telegraph reported that the Afghans Slater was trying to help were mostly from his organisation Nomad Concepts Group.

The Kabul-based Nomad Concepts Group works on NGO related projects.

Now out of the country, Slater is trying to persuade the British government's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to provide visas to his staffers who are at heightened risk of Taliban vengeance.

He managed to help 67 people leave Afghanistan till the time the foreign governments in Kabul were evacuating vulnerable Afghans. British media organisations have reported that Slater feels massively let down by the British government.

The UK is still hoping that the Taliban will keep its promise of a safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans who were working for the US and NATO forces. Britain has announced that it will absorb 'eligible Afghans' for settlement into the UK if they can reach a third country.

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