'We were born in war': Burnage shop owner reacts as Taliban seize control of Afghanistan homeland

Video report by ITV News Reporter Andrew Fletcher

Afghans living in the North West have reacted to the collapse of their homeland, as the Taliban seize power across the country.

For many there are fears for the safety of friends and relatives, in particular women and children, after a return to a strict Islamic state.

Sayid Sadat, an Afghan store owner living in the region, says he is worried for his family who live in the war-torn country, but said he expected the fighting to happen.

He told ITV Granada Reports: "Once the international support was withdrawn we knew it would be very difficult for Afghan army to resist the Taliban onslaught."

Last week, Sayid's cousin - who taught literacy to Afghan soldiers - was killed in a bombing carried out by the army he worked for.

He says what people want most in Afghanistan is an end to the bloodshed.

"It's not something new for us", Sayid said. "We've lived through war. We were born in war. So we hope that the situation will get better."

Many Britons in Afghanistan are not waiting for the situation to improve.

British forces are scrambling to evacuate British citizens still in the country and native allies who worked with the UK during its occupation of Afghanistan.

The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace - who served as an army officer - was today reflecting the emotion felt by many of his former comrades.

Speaking to LBC radio on Monday, he 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.”

British Troops helped remove the Taliban from Afghanistan within weeks in 2001. Since then, more than 450 British military personnel have been killed in the country that's now back in Taliban hands. 

Afghanistan veteran, Andy Reid MBE, said: "It's heartbreaking to see what's going on and how quickly the country's been taken over.

"After all the training we did with the Afghan police and the Afghan army. We mentored them to lead it into a better place."

"It's friends I'm thinking about over there. It must be really heartbreaking for them."

MPs from across the North West will soon return to Westminster, as the government attempts to respond to the fast-changing situation.