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Canadians trapped in Afghanistan plead for help

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TORONTO —
With the Taliban once more in control of Afghanistan and commercial flights halted, those who helped the Canadian military and Canadian citizens stuck in Kabul wonder if they’ll make it out of the country alive.

Activists, veterans and interpreters who helped the Canadian Armed Forces during the war had been pleading with the federal government to help get them out for weeks before the Taliban took control, now they worry it is too late.

“We are going to see if they don’t kill me and the government try to help me get out of Afghanistan,” Sultan, a pseudonym, told CTV News.

Sultan fled Afghanistan to escape the Taliban once already. As an actor and director, he came to Canada and became a citizen before returning to his home country after living in Ontario for 40 years. He taught English and philosophy to boys and girls in Afghanistan. His family is here in Canada, pleading for help.

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“It sound like something out of a movie, but it’s happening to my father, it’s happening to real people, real Canadians and it is just a very distressing situation,” Baz Ali, his son, told CTV News.

As commercial flights out of Kabul’s airport are grounded, Canadians and Afghans who helped Canadians during the war effort are desperate to get out. Those trying to help get them to safety say that they’re being hunted by the Taliban.

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“Now the Taliban are literally all around them in their neighbourhoods, knocking on doors, looking for anybody who may have served with Canadian Forces or American Forces,” Karen Storwick, Combined Forces Production Collaborative, told CTV News.

“They’re scared, they are just keep asking me, ‘When can I come home, when can I get out of this?'” she added.

Even the family members of those who helped Canadian Forces aren’t safe from the Taliban. Roya Sham now lives in Canada, but her family in Afghanistan is in hiding in a safe house with a hundred others. Her father worked with the Canadian military. He was killed by the Taliban.

“It’s time for action, we don’t have time,” said Sham. “There is a humanitarian crisis, people are losing their lives, their loved ones, they have lost their homes, they lost everything they had.”

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