Kabul explosion: Pen Farthing ‘targeted’ by gunman in airport chaos

Pen Farthing targeted by gunman during Kabul explosions
Pen Farthing says he was targeted in an attack which left several casualties. Credit: ITV West Country

A former Royal Marine from the South West says he was targeted by a gunman during explosions in Kabul.

Two explosions have taken place in Afghanistan’s capital this afternoon (August 26) - one outside the airport and another at a nearby hotel - which have resulted in an "unknown number of casualties".

Paul ‘Pen’ Farthing, from Plymouth, is the founder of an animal shelter called Nowzad and has been campaigning to get his staff and animals evacuated.

He said his vehicle outside the airport was caught in the "chaos" which followed the explosion.

Pen Farthing is attempting to evacuate his rescue animals from Kabul Credit: PA

He told reporters: "All of a sudden we heard gunshots and our vehicle was targeted.

"Had our driver not turned around he would have been shot in the head by a man with an AK-47.

"We've been in the airport, and back out of the airport; the whole thing's a mess."

The 52-year-old, who runs an animal sanctuary in Afghanistan, is attempting to fly his staff and animals, including 200 dogs and cats, out of the country.

He has sent a pleaded message pleading with the Taliban after getting “stuck” at Kabul Airport.

It is unclear how many people were hurt in the attacks in Afghanistan, but US defence spokesman John Kirby confirmed one of the blasts occurred near Abbey Gate at the airport.

Another took place at or near the Baron Hotel, where the UK has been processing Britons and Afghans eligible for evacuation after the Taliban seized control of the nation.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said there had been no UK military or government casualties reported as of now.