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A former British soldier planned an escape from Afghanistan with hundreds of refugees in tow, according to reports.

Ben Slater, 37, worked as a bodyguard for British ambassadors abroad. Now he plots a journey through Taliban-controlled lands with 400 Afghan citizens – including staff from his organization, the Nomad Concepts Group – after the British Foreign Office did not approve his visas for the air evacuation.

“It’s going to be a long journey, and I hope on the other hand that the FCDO has sorted out our visas, or at least talked to the foreign ministry in our destination country to allow access for our vulnerable staff.” , Slater told the Telegraph.

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Slater helped evacuate dozens of people from Afghanistan during British airlifts, and he said he felt “overwhelmingly abandoned” by his government. Instead, he took matters into his own hands.

Its staff of 50 is mainly made up of women. He did not reveal the location of his convoy or its destination. The rest of the group is made up of Afghan nationals eager to leave the country.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has not commented on Slater’s situation, saying the office does not comment on individual cases, according to the Daily Mail.

“Our staff are working tirelessly to facilitate the swift evacuation of British nationals, Afghan staff and other people at risk,” FCDO said in a statement. “The scale of the evacuation effort is enormous and we have helped close to 15,000 people to leave Afghanistan since the evacuation began. We continue to pressure the Taliban to allow safe passage out of Afghanistan for those who want to leave.

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A number of countries, including the UK and Germany, have informed people wishing to leave the country that they can travel to a neighboring country and seek help from an embassy there, as most countries have closed their embassies in Kabul after the Taliban took control. of the city on August 15.

The Taliban have assured that they will allow those who flee their country to do so unharmed, but Slater fears that is not the case.

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Slater said he shared his escape plan with the Foreign Office and the Defense Ministry in the hope that British forces would back his efforts and repatriate them when they reached their destination.


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