Afghan soldier serving with UK army among refugees who crossed Channel

Afghan soldier serving with UK army among refugees who crossed Channel
More than 600 people crossed the channel from France to the UK on Wednesday. Among them was an Afghan soldier and his family fleeing the Taliban after losing faith in British evacuation efforts.
2 min read
25 November, 2021
27 people died when a migrant boat sank in the English channel on Wednesday [Getty]

An Afghan soldier who worked with British forces was among some 600 people who made the perilous
English Channel crossing on Wednesday, the Times reported.

His family told the London-based newspaper that they left Afghanistan “because of the Taliban” and because they could no longer wait for British protection from the Islamist group

The soldier’s brother, 40, who gave his name as Khan, explained: “Because he worked with the British [there are] problems with the Taliban. All the time, this is why I come with my children”

“We have all the documents, but we waited so long for help” he added.

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Another refugee, Ahmad, 28, an NGO worker from Palestine, told reporters at England's Dungeness Beach that he had paid £2000 for a place on a boat carrying more than 50 people.

More than 600 migrants – including infants and young children – have made the perilous journey on makeshift boats in the past 24 hours. In recent days, there has been a spike in crossing attempts from France’s northern shore due to relatively calm conditions, and with people feeling this may be the last chance to cross before the coldest winter period hits.

At least 27 people, including a pregnant woman, died on Wednesday crossing from France to England when their boat sank off the port of Calais, French authorities said. The disaster is considered the deadliest since the Channel became a major part of the migrant route.

Two male survivors, one Iraqi and another Somali, are being treated for hypothermia, according to French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution reported rescuing eight boats on Wednesday.