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'Hoping for a miracle': Arizonans with family in Afghanistan watch and worry as violence continues

Posted at 11:39 AM, Aug 30, 2021

As the crisis in Afghanistan continues to unfold, some Arizona families with loved ones there are forced to watch and worry.

ABC15 spoke with a man who lives in the Phoenix area named Mohammad. He did not want to be identified because he says his family works for the Afghan government and fears for their safety. He says he worked as a translator for the U.S. Army and was granted special immigrant status under a special visa program.

He says last Thursday, his family was making their way to the Kabul airport when they saw the attack that killed 13 U.S. service members and at least 90 Afghans.

He says they were far enough away that they were unharmed, but they had to run back home.

“My brother and father, they say, 'we never seen this kind of situation in our entire life.' It was so bad situation at that time for them to see that. They’re in fear, their lives are in danger... so that makes me sad, that makes me unhappy,” he said.

Mohammad says ABC15’s news partner KTAR reached out to Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s Office, who in return contacted the U.S. Department of State.

“I understand they are not U.S. citizens and they are not top priority for my family but they send some paperwork and hopefully someone will call and say come to the...airport and come to be part of the evacuation process," he said. "But after the 31st, end of this month, looks like I don’t see any other way they could help. If you are an Afghan citizen and you go to the Taliban and say, 'I want to leave the country,' it’s like asking for crime and punishment.”

As of Sunday night, Mohammad tells ABC15 his family has not been able to leave, and right now they are hoping for a miracle.

ABC15 spoke with two other men living in the Valley who are also awaiting the safe evacuation of their family members.