AURORA, Colo. — A Colorado man says his brother, who is trying to flee Afghanistan, was in the Kabul airport Thursday when the deadly explosion occurred.
Mohammad, who only shared his first name for fear of retaliation against his family in Afghanistan, desperately tried to reach his brother after he learned about the explosions.
"After 30 minutes, he texted me back and said that he’s OK," Mohammad said.
Mohammad learned his brother witnessed the early explosions as he was waiting at the airport, trying to flee with his wife and their four children.
"He was right there, and he saw and he heard the horrific sound," Mohammad said. “He saw people falling down — that’s what he told me — so, must have been so close."
Military officials have confirmed 12 U.S. service members were killed and 15 were injured. An Afghan official told the AP that at least 60 Afghans were also killed and 143 wounded.
Mohammad talked with Denver7 Wednesday and shared he was worried the Taliban would kill his brother if he was unable to escape. In the aftermath of the attacks at the airport, he wonders if his brother even has a chance of getting out now.
"I completely lost my hope. He may not be able to get out and many other people cannot get out. It seems completely impossible right now," Mohammad said.
Mohammad and his brother worked as translators for the U.S. military. When asked why they risked their lives to support troops, he replied: "Implementing democracy and freedom, so that is what we believed in, and that’s why we joined them and that’s why we worked with them. We believed in some shared values."
After nearly three years of waiting on paperwork, Mohammad was able to move to the United States. He arrived in 2016 and his brother hoped to join him soon, but his visa paperwork was still being processed.
He believes his brother will be in great danger if he is unable to evacuate. His brother is still waiting at the airport because he is unable to return home.
"There’s people looking for him. For right now, we are not exactly sure who they are but must be Taliban, so that’s why he cannot go there," Mohammad said.
He said his worry is consuming him.
"I completely lost sleep," Mohammad said. "I can’t sleep. I can’t eat."