Images emerged as fear intensifies across after the Taliban took over major cities, including capital Kabul. Thousands are trying to leave the country via the city’s airport – Hamid Karzai International – and foreign embassies, including the UK and US, have set up evacuation centres.
Afghans eligible for evacuation will be airlifted away.
Images of a baby being passed over a wall lined with barbed wire were described as “heartbreaking” as they circulated online.
One user wrote: “The level of desperation to hand your child to a total stranger in the hope they will have a better life is beyond comprehension.”
Another commented: That is so very sad. The mum will probably never see that baby again. So, so sad what a mother will do for her children.”
������ | NEW: A desperate Afghan mum hands over her baby to an American soldier for evacuation
— News For All (@NewsForAllUK)
Another person tweeted in response to the video: “Have you ever witnessed anything so sad. This is possibly the biggest humanitarian situation we’ll ever face in our lifetime.”
According to Reuters, a total of 12 people have been killed in and around Kabul’s airport since the Taliban took control of the capital on Sunday.
An unnamed Taliban official said the deaths were caused either by stampedes or by gun shots in the area.
The UK Government has responded to the situation in Afghanistan by welcoming up to 20,000 Afghan refugees.
The Prime Minister said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have worked with us to make Afghanistan a better place over the last 20 years.
“Many of them, particularly women, are now in urgent need of our help.
“I am proud that the UK has been able to put in place this route to help them and their families live safely in the UK.”
In 2020, the UK accepted 9,351 Afghan refugees.
This is small in comparison to the 147,994 resettled by Germany, 40,096 by Austria and 31,546 by France.
President Biden has defended the decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan.
He said: “We severely degraded Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.”
He added: “Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to be nation-building.
“As president, I’m adamant that we fight the threats we face today, not yesterday.”