'Are they going to leave us to die?' - British citizens in Afghanistan say they feel 'abandoned'

ITV News Correspondent Romilly Weeks spoke to two British men on Monday who said they are being "abandoned" by the UK government

Two UK nationals stuck in Afghanistan have told ITV News they fear for their lives after being "abandoned" by the British government.

Speaking to ITV News anonymously, two small business owners from the south east of England, who have both lived in the UK for more than a decade, say their pleas for safe passage are being ignored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

ITV News has spoken to more than a dozen Brits in the same situation.

"They don't even read your responses," they said, adding they had only received automatically generated emails in response.

The two men had returned to Afghanistan to bring their wives and children to safety in the UK. They are now stuck there, after the UK wound down its evacuation effort from Kabul airport before the August 31 deadline following the Taliban takeover.

"I don't know what is going on with the UK. Are they going to leave us to die in the suffering?" they told ITV News.

"We feel abandoned, hopeless, please help us."

The men say that have received no reply from the Foreign Office or their MP in 10 days and are increasingly fearful for their lives.

The last UK flight carrying military and diplomatic personnel left Kabul airport last week, marking the end of the 20-year campaign in Afghanistan.

Operation Pitting, the largest evacuation mission since the Second World War, ended on August 29 as the final troops left.

More than 15,000 people have been airlifted to safety in just over a fortnight, as more than 1,000 troops, diplomats, and officials were sent to Afghanistan to rescue British nationals and Afghan allies after the Taliban took over the country's capital.

But hundreds of Afghans who helped the UK during the war have been left behind and face the dangers of Taliban rule.

The two men ITV News spoke to said having a British passport made them a particular target. The father-in-law of one of the men had been killed by the Taliban because he had worked with the British government.

Hundreds of people gather near an evacuation control checkpoint on the perimeter of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul Credit: Wali Sabawoon/AP

"The situation is extremely, extremely dangerous at the moment, to be honest, I'm suffering from depression and my mental health is not good.

"Going outside, even carrying your passport with you is extremely dangerous. They don't listen to anyone." 

Terrified of the Taliban, the men are unable to step outside their homes, relying on neighbours to bring them food.

The situation continues to deteriorate in the country.

The men told ITV News: "There is so much firing at night here."

In a statement to ITV News, a spokesperson for the FCDO said: “The UK and international partners are all committed to ensuring that our citizens, nationals and residents, employees, Afghans who have worked with us and those who are at risk can continue to travel freely to destinations outside Afghanistan.

"We have been clear that the Taliban must allow safe passage for those who want to leave.

 “We are aware of these two individuals’ cases.

"We will continue to update  British nationals in Afghanistan who have registered their presence and do all we can to support them.”

Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Credit: AP

On Monday Boris Johnson insisted he will do “everything possible” to help people flee the Taliban, while acknowledging hundreds of Afghans who assisted the UK remain in the country.

The prime minister confirmed that 311 people entitled to resettlement under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap) are still in Afghanistan.

Both the prime minister and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab have been criticised over the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and their response since the Taliban takeover.Making a statement to the Commons, Mr Johnson said: “Let me say to anyone who we’ve made commitments to and who is currently in Afghanistan – we are working urgently with our friends in the region to secure safe passage and as soon as routes are available we will do everything possible to help you to reach safety.”