An Afghan sniper who worked alongside the British special forces was murdered in front of his family yesterday by the Taliban.
Noor was found at his sister’s home on the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul and was shot three times in the chest and again while lying on the ground by two gunmen.
He had been a member of a British-trained Afghan unit known as CF333, many of which were rescued in the Kabul airport airlift that followed the Taliban takeover. It is not known whether he requested relocation.
Noor, a former sniper of the Afghan elite unit who worked alongside the British special forces
The murder is the latest in a series of revenge killings by the Taliban who went house to house looking for those working with Western forces. In the photo, crowds of people wait outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan
The murder sparked shock and anger among members of the British Army, former Colonel Ash Alexander-Cooper, OBE, SAS Specialist Operations Commander, tweeting: “For leaders still uncertain, this is not a game, “N” was executed in cold blood by the Taliban just hours ago. His crime? Years of loyal and professional service, supervised by British units.
“There is no amnesty. Abandoned by us, this murder will not be the last.
Noor was reportedly shot dead while his wife and five children, all under the age of nine – the youngest only ten days old – were at the entrance to the house.
“This is the reality of the ‘new’ Taliban,” Alexander-Cooper said. “Talking about inclusiveness, diversity and amnesty is a joke and some fall into the trap. To wake up.’
The murder is the latest in a series of revenge killings by the Taliban who went house to house looking for those working with Western forces.
Noor’s friend Rafi Hottak, a former frontline interpreter, said: “Noor had been threatened on several occasions and feared for his life. This is the reality of what is happening to those who supported the British and its allies.
News of the murder came when it was revealed that a former frontline interpreter for British troops had escaped Afghanistan – with the help of Japan. Mohammad Khan was left behind when the RAF’s mercy flights to Kabul ended late last month.
He is the first known former British forces translator to cross the border to become one of Afghanistan’s neighbors since the Taliban took control. He had qualified for resettlement in Britain, but claims he was turned back by a British soldier amid the chaos at the airport.
His case should be the first test of the UK’s pledge to help former translators eligible for relocation if they travel to a third country.
The 35-year-old crossed the Pakistani border with his wife and three children over the weekend after a fear-filled two-day road trip through Taliban checkpoints. Last night he was in a hotel in Islamabad hoping that British diplomats would help him and his family reach the UK.
Mohammad said Japanese officials – he had worked with Tokyo-backed aid programs – helped orchestrate his escape and, unlike the British, had been in regular contact with him. “They helped us prepare and then organize to cross the border into Pakistan,” Mohammad said, “It was wonderful to finally know that we were safe.
Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, disembark from a plane upon their return from a deployment in Afghanistan, at Fort Drum, New York
“I was very scared and didn’t hear from the British after they left. I was allowed to come to UK and I went to the airport and spent 24 hours by the gates talking with a British soldier telling him I was a brother interpreter…
Mohammad was initially turned down for relocation because, he said, he was fired for taking time out to attend his engagement party, but the decision was changed and he was told he was eligible at the shrine in July.
His case is one of hundreds highlighted by this newspaper’s award-winning Betrayal of the Brave campaign. “Everyone knew I had worked for the British,” he says. ‘There were a lot of spies pointing fingers at us [interpreters] and we couldn’t hide forever.
He said he was now desperate to go to the UK where he has friends and family.