Afghans working for Nato fear reprisal after withdrawal

15
London

Like thousands of Afghan translators who served with Nato forces, Nazir Ahmad fears for his life as the US-led alliance scrambles to pull out of the country in the coming weeks.

“The situation is deteriorating now as foreign forces leave,” he said in Kabul. “We are scared of the insurgents.

They know our faces.” Afghans who worked for international armed forces face a threatened wave of Taliban reprisals and fear that resettlement plans by alliance members will leave many of them and their relatives still vulnerable.

Ahmad, 35, who is now in the Afghan capital, worked with British forces for two years in the restive southern province of Helmand, and has applied for relocation to the UK to escape the increased threats to former local staff.

“The insurgents, especially the Taliban, will take revenge and cut off our heads,” he said, explaining the militia considers former local staff “spies” and “foreign allies”.

Over the past two decades, dozens of Afghan translators have been killed and tortured in targeted assaults by the Taliban.

Many more have been injured in attacks on foreign troops during patrols in armoured vehicles.

Britain announced on Monday that it would accelerate relocation for its Afghan staff who worked with the military, offering priority to any current or former locally employed staff deemed at risk.—AFP

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