Afghan Women Throwing Babies Over Barbed Wire To Save Them: Report

Video shows babies passed to strangers in crowd to get them evacuated.
Kabul airport
Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/GettyImages

Heartbreaking video from Kabul, Afghanistan, shows people passing their infant children to others in the crowd ahead of them at the Kabul airport hoping that the babies and toddlers will be evacuated.

Other reports indicated women were actually throwing their babies over the barbed wire in a desperate attempt to save them from the Taliban.

Stuart Ramsey reported for Sky News, “A senior officer told me they had no choice because the situation was out of control, but said the blockade will live with some of his soldiers for the rest of their lives. ‘It was terrible, women were throwing their babies over the razor wire, asking the soldiers to take them, some got caught in the wire,’ he told me. ‘I’m worried for my men, I’m counselling some, everyone cried last night.’”

I News reported, “The report from Kabul by war correspondent Kim Sengupta is one of the most upsetting stories we have published. At Kabul airport, a Parachute Regiment officer tells Kim that Afghan mothers have been trying to throw their babies over the barbed wire to British servicemen, in the hope that their children can be saved from life under the Taliban. Some of the babies did not reach the troops.”

The Washington Post described what life was like for some children the last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, between 1996 and 2001:

The outside world got periodic glimpses into the country (even though taking photos was technically forbidden): There was the video of an Afghan mother forced to kneel in the stadium, shot dead between the goal posts. There were photos of children dying of preventable illnesses in a dilapidated pediatric hospital.

The U.S. State Department wrote in November 2001, just after the United States had ousted the Taliban from power:

Under Taliban rule, women were given only the most rudimentary access to health care and medical care, thereby endangering the health of women, and in turn, their families. In most hospitals, male physicians could only examine a female patient if she were fully clothed, ruling out the possibility of meaningful diagnosis and treatment.

These Taliban regulations led to a lack of adequate medical care for women and contributed to increased suffering and higher mortality rates. Afghanistan has the world’s second worst rate of maternal death during childbirth. About 16 out of every 100 women die giving birth. Inadequate medical care for women also meant poor medical care and a high mortality rate for Afghan children. Afghanistan has one of the world’s highest rates of infant and child mortality. According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 165 of every 1000 babies die before their first birthday.

According to the latest U.N. report on Children and Armed Conflict, between January 2019 and December 2020, over  6,470 grave violations against children were documented, with nearly half attributed to the Taliban, the United Nations reported.

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