A teenager from Afghanistan’s youth soccer team was one of the victims who fell from a U.S. C-17 military aircraft on Monday, Afghanistan’s General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports confirmed in a statement on social media Thursday morning.
Teenager who died after falling from U.S. plane identified as Afghan national soccer player
“With great regret and sadness, we got information that Zaki Anwari, one of the national team’s youth footballers, has lost his life in a horrible incident,” the statement said.
The message went on to say that the young Anwari was “trying to leave the country like hundreds of other young people from his country. He fell out of the U.S. military plane and lost his life.”
A day after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Sunday, hundreds of people fled to the tarmac of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Monday, desperate to find a way to evacuate the country.
As the C-17 aircraft taxied onto the runway, several people clung to the landing gear as the plane gained speed. Video emerged shortly afterward showing a C-17 ascending over Kabul and at least two bodies falling from the plane.
The statement from Afghanistan’s General Directorate of Corps and Sports said Anwari was among “several other compatriots who fell to the ground while flying” in search of “a better future in the United States.”
“They died and were martyred,” the post said, “may their soul rest in peace and their memory be remembered.”
The post included prayers that Anwari “be granted a high position in heaven and pray to God to grant patience to his family, friends and sporting comrades.”