Who was Marzia Rahmati? Kin releases photo of dead Afghan girl, 14, killed at airport stampede

Rahmati suffered multiple internal injuries as she was trampled to death at the Hamid Karzai International Airport

                            Who was Marzia Rahmati? Kin releases photo of dead Afghan girl, 14, killed at airport stampede
Afghan civilians prepare to board a plane during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan (Twitter/@DeptofDefense)

The family of a 14-year-old girl killed in a stampede at Kabul Airport has released this shocking photograph of her shrouded body. Her parents and siblings had secured visas to start a new life in Tajikistan, where they had relatives. But the teenager was trampled to death amid the chaos at the airport, where hundreds of Afghans have been trying to find flights out in the wake of Taliban forces overrunning the city.

As per an August 19 Reuters report, a total of 12 people have been killed in and around Hamid Karzai International Airport since the Taliban took control of the capital. Citing an unnamed Taliban official, the report said that the deaths were caused either by stampedes of people trying to get into the airport in the hope of boarding an evacuation flight or by gunshots in the area. 


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The family of Marzia Rahmati released this image of her deceased body under a sheet. (Family handout)


Videos of people running with the plane have gone viral. One video showing Afghan civilians falling from the side of the plane in mid-air after desperately trying to hold on has been shared over and over again on social media.

Who was Marzia Rahmati?

The high school student, as per the Daily Mail, is believed to be one of the youngest of the aforementioned 12 victims. As per the report, when the crowd panicked at the sound of gunfire on Monday, August 16, Marzia became separated from her parents and fell to the ground, suffering multiple internal injuries as she was trampled to death.

Rahmati’s aunt, Zakia Ahmadi, 28, said the family was “devastated” by her death. She said, “We want people to see what is really happening here right now, a little girl is dead because the world turned away from us. My sister Fatima, Marzia's mother, and her family wanted their daughter to continue her education, and were worried that wouldn't be possible under the Taliban.”

Afghans wait in long lines for hours at the passport office as many are desperate to have their travel documents ready to go on August 14, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Tensions are high as the Taliban advance on the capital city after taking the major cities of Herat, Mazar-e Sharif, and the country's second-largest city Kandahar. (Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)


Ahmadi further said, “They had all the right documents to leave the country, but in all the chaos at the airport, they didn't have a chance. The crowd was rushing all over the place and then there was gunfire and everyone panicked. Marzia's father Mustafa and her mother were protecting their two younger children, a boy and a girl when the people started running and Marzia became separated from them and was knocked down in the rush. When her father got to her she was barely alive and he carried her for a long time before they were able to get medical help.”

She said that the teenager received “a lot of bruises all over her and there was internal bleeding, and in the hospital, they put cotton wool to absorb the blood coming from her nose and mouth, but she died soon after arriving there.” As per Ahmadi, Marzia's mother Fatima was also injured in the stampede but later released from the hospital.

The aunt reminisced about how her niece was a gifted student. A year nine pupil at a girls' school, Rahmati dreamed of being a teacher, she said. Her father Mustafa reportedly worked for a local NGO as a program coordinator. Ahmadi said, “The family was so desperate to get out of the country that they took Marzia out of school, missing exams because they thought this might be their last chance to leave. Now they are broken.”