Afghanistan: Britain's most severely injured soldier from the conflict says it was a 'waste'

Ben Parkinson, who is considered to be the most severely injured British soldier from the war in Afghanistan, has said the loss of life in the war was a "waste".

Speaking to ITV News after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, Ben said "what was the point" of the war and said that it was a shame for the families who lost sons and daughters in the conflict during the last twenty years.

He added: "I've still got my life I am not going to complain...But it's a waste it really is a waste.

"All the families that lost sons...and some women I think died, so it is a shame."

He also said that the Afghans who helped British troops during the war should have been brought to the UK for their safety.

Doncaster-born Ben lost both his legs, broke his back and suffered brain damage when the land rover he was travelling in hit a landmine in 2006.

Ben left the army in 2019 and has been awarded an MBE.

Ben's mother Diane questioned why forces were pulled out of the country and that this was allowed to happen.

She added: "It's so difficult because you don't want to see another person hurt in Afghanistan, but why did it matter 20 years ago and it doesn't matter now?

"And what does it mean to these people, particularly when Ben went the mission was to support women's education, and you have given people this taste of freedom and hope and you're now just saying it's gone."

The Mayor of South Yorkshire, Dan Jarvis MP, echoed Ben's comments about helping the people of Afghanistan.

Mr Jarvis went to Afghanistan when he served in the armed forces, he said: "I went to Afghanistan three times, I committed such a lot to it, a number of my very good friends who I served alongside didn't come home.

"So it is an absolute tragedy to see what the country has become in recent days and I think that we have a commitment to support the Afghan people."

British troops are assisting with the evacuation of UK nationals.

British troops are currently in Kabul trying to help UK nationals leave the country - they are based at the city's international airport which has not currently come under attack from the Taliban, although there are fears this could happen.

Speaking to LBC radio on Monday, former Scots Guard Ben Wallace appeared to choke back tears as he spoke of his regret that not everyone would make it out of Afghanistan.

He said: “It’s a really deep part of regret for me … look, some people won’t get back. Some people won’t get back and we will have to do our best in third countries to process those people.”

Asked why he felt the situation “so personally”, Mr Wallace replied: “Because I’m a soldier… because it’s sad and the West has done what it’s done, we have to do our very best to get people out and stand by our obligations and 20 years of sacrifice is what it is.”