Reza and Kabeer: Afghans who fell to death from US plane were teen brothers who sold watermelons
A few days ago, shortly after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, a shocking video took over the internet. Going viral across the world, it showed two Afghans falling to their deaths as they tried to cling to a US Air Force plane that was leaving the country. In a desperate bid to escape the Taliban's rule, Afghans clung to the outside of the aircraft and when the plane caught speed and took off, they fell to their deaths.
According to reports, one of the Afghans seen falling from the US Air Force plane as it took off from Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport was identified as a 17-year-old boy whose younger brother might have also died while attempting to flee the country.
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Relatives of the teenager reportedly described the moment they found his mangled body on the ground after he fell from the C-17 transport plane. "His legs and arms were gone. I brought him back myself," a family member told Vice News. To protect their families and since they are minors, the publication called the teen and his 16-year-old brother Reza and Kabeer.
As per a report in DailyMail, the two were impoverished teenage brothers who sold watermelons at Kabul's central market and scavenged in the bins of Kabul's markets to provide for their mother, who is now left with no other children after they fell to their deaths. "Both boys would sell watermelons in Kabul markets and feed off the bins to survive and provide for their mother. The 2 boys were their mother's only children. She has no other family and has no idea how she will survive under Taliban regime," said one Twitter user who had posted that the teenagers were his aunt's neighbors.
The report reveals that both the boys left home for the airport on Monday, August 16, in the midst of the Taliban’s takeover. They had heard a rumor that 20,000 people would be relocated to Canada or the US, the report said. "Without telling anyone in the house, he took his personal ID, and left to the airport," the family member told Vice about Reza. The brothers were reportedly among thousands of Afghans who were filmed frantically chasing after and clinging to the military plane as it taxied down the runway. These videos went viral on social media across the world, giving many people nightmares.
Kabeer's relatives said that he was still missing and that they hoped to find him - either dead or alive. "We are really upset that we’ve lost two," the family member told Vice. "We’ve found the body of one of them, but the other one is still missing." "We hope to find him dead or alive so it will console our family," the relative said about Kabeer. "We are worried, and we went from one hospital to another, but we didn’t get any information."
The family member added, "His mother is devastated, she is passing out every now and then."