British ex-soldier is ARRESTED by the Taliban as his attempt to evacuate 400 Afghans fails

British ex-soldier is ARRESTED by the Taliban as his attempt to evacuate 400 Afghans fails: Islamists order him to leave evacuees – despite people promising to leave the country

  • Ben Slater was arrested Thursday morning after attempting to cross the border
  • The 37-year-old tried to evacuate 400 Afghans, including 50 staff members
  • The former member of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee runs a chain of NGOs in Afghanistan
  • He was questioned about his staff, many of whom are single women staying in a hotel near a border checkpoint
  • Slater was released and told he could leave the country with another staff member
  • The others had to stay in Afghanistan, the Taliban told him
  • Slater now tries to get visas for his staff and feels let down by the FCDO


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A former British soldier has been arrested by the Taliban while trying to evacuate 400 Afghans.

Ben Slater, 37, was thrown in jail Thursday morning and questioned about members of his 50 employees, most of whom are single women, staying in hotel rooms near a border checkpoint.

The former member of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee runs a chain of NGOs in Afghanistan and had attempted to evacuate his personnel across a land border after failing to secure a place for them and their families on the British airlift from Kabul.

However, his mission failed after a carriage with the staff was sent away from a land border. It is not clear which country the coach tried to cross.

Slater was released later on Thursday and was told he could cross the border with one aide, but that the rest of his staff must remain in Afghanistan. The Telegraph reported.

He told the newspaper that he will try to get visas for his staff from the UK or another Western country.

Slater again appealed to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to help them out of Afghanistan.

Ben Slater (pictured) was thrown in jail Thursday morning and questioned about members of his 50 employees, most of whom are single women, staying in hotel rooms near a border checkpoint.

Ben Slater (pictured) was thrown in jail Thursday morning and questioned about members of his 50 employees, most of whom are single women, staying in hotel rooms near a border checkpoint.

“The final blow to the operation is that today the UK is only granting myself and one of my executive assistants across the border, and they have not even suggested that they issue the visas for part or the rest of my group,” he told. The Telegraph.

“It’s actually a complete disaster. It’s disgusting. It’s beyond awful.’

The FCDO has advised British citizens still in Afghanistan to return to the UK via a third country.

However, Kabul airport is not operational after the US withdrawal on Monday and the British government has not made any agreements with countries sharing a land border with Afghanistan to facilitate escape routes before the fall of Kabul on August 15.

Slater shared his plans to escape through a land border with the FCDO and the Department of Defense in hopes of getting help as soon as possible.

The attempt came amid concerns that leaving Afghanistan by land will be nearly impossible due to closed borders, abandoned foreign embassies and Taliban checkpoints.

According to the Telegraph, Mr. Slater had already helped dozens of Afghans flee the country, but was unable to arrange assistance for his staff, who he said are at risk of retaliation from the Taliban.

The attempt came amid concerns that leaving Afghanistan by land will be nearly impossible due to closed borders, abandoned foreign embassies and Taliban checkpoints.

The attempt came amid concerns that leaving Afghanistan by land will be nearly impossible due to closed borders, abandoned foreign embassies and Taliban checkpoints.

The attempt came amid concerns that leaving Afghanistan by land will be nearly impossible due to closed borders, abandoned foreign embassies and Taliban checkpoints.

Before attempting to escape, Slater described himself as “massively abandoned” by the British government.

He told The Telegraph: ‘I was given an hour’s notice to send the names of my people, the vehicles and things like that.

“And that kind of seemed like it was set up in such a way that I would miss the deadline. But we did, and then it got a little quiet, and then there was a bit of “oh, you can’t come because you can’t get through the Taliban checkpoint”.’

Slater ended up losing “his marbles” after apparently being transferred to an automated call center and put “back to zero.”

He says he then launched his own operation to rescue 400 Afghan citizens, including the 50 staff members and himself.

While the Taliban have given assurances that they will allow those fleeing their rule to leave the country unharmed, Slater fears that will not prove to be the case.

The Telegraph reported an FCDO spokesperson: ‘More than 15,000 people, including British citizens, our Afghan staff and others at risk, have been evacuated from Afghanistan by the UK since August 15 in one of the largest operations of its kind in history’ .

“We will continue to do everything we can to fulfill our obligation to get British citizens and eligible Afghans out of the country for as long as the security situation allows.”

The former member of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (pictured) runs a chain of NGOs in Afghanistan and had attempted to evacuate his personnel across a land border after failing to secure a place for them and their families on the British airlift from Kabul

The former member of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (pictured) runs a chain of NGOs in Afghanistan and had attempted to evacuate his personnel across a land border after failing to secure a place for them and their families on the British airlift from Kabul

The former member of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (pictured) runs a chain of NGOs in Afghanistan and had attempted to evacuate his personnel across a land border after failing to secure a place for them and their families on the British airlift from Kabul

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