Former Afghan translator for Spanish troops says "nobody should be left behind\

Afghan Daryuosh Mohammadi, 29, who worked as a translator for Spanish troops in Afghanistan until 2014, shows his mobile phone as he reads news from Afghanistan during an interview with Reuters TV in Madrid.

17-08-2021STAFF

Daryuosh Mohammadi, an Afghan national living in Madrid who once worked as a translator for Spanish troops, broke into tears when he heard the Taliban had seized his hometown of Kabul.

"What I'm most worried about is my sister," he said from his apartment in the Madrid suburb of Vallecas.

"She is 17 or 18 years old. It breaks my heart when I hear or see news saying the Taliban are searching homes for young girls," said Mohammadi, who studied Spanish at university in Afghanistan.

The Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday after rapidly taking over much of the rest of the country, prompting chaotic scenes at the airport as crowds scrambled for escape.

Mohammadi, 29, worked with Spanish forces for four and a half years until 2014, when Spain pulled out most of its troops and offered him asylum.

He spent time working as a translator, a shop assistant and eventually as a waiter in Madrid but is currently unemployed.

"My family is my life. If they arrest my family I'll have to commit suicide ... Here in Europe or in Spain we can't do anything for them. It's like being in prison."

Spain sent some 27,000 troops to Afghanistan over almost 20 years of involvement in the conflict. A total of 102 soldiers died.

Two military planes were due to depart later on Monday to evacuate any Spanish embassy staff still in Kabul. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said earlier on Monday those would include Spanish and Afghan staff.

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