A 2-month-old baby boy handed to US troops over a fence at Kabul’s airport amid President Biden’s chaotic evacuation in August is missing, according to a report.
The US government acknowledged it’s trying to solve the disappearance of infant Sohail Ahmadi — with the State Department telling Reuters it’s working “to explore every avenue to locate the child.”
The baby’s father, former US embassy guard Mirza Ali Ahmadi, his wife Suraya and the couple’s other four children entered the Kabul airport shortly after the handoff, but weren’t able to find Sohail.
Mirza Ali Ahmadi doesn’t speak English, the news wire reports, and through a translator initially was told the child may have been in a separate part of the Kabul airport or that he may have been separately evacuated to Qatar.
The rest of the family ultimately was flown to Qatar and then to Fort Bliss, Texas.
Ahmadi said that he saw other parents handing their babies to US troops over the fence on Aug. 19 shortly after the Taliban swept into the Afghan capital, sending a crush of civilians toward US military planes.
The other babies are believed to have been returned to their parents.
Kabul’s airport was the final patch of US-controlled territory ahead of Biden’s Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline and was the site of a bombing on Aug. 26 by suspected Islamic State terrorists that killed 13 US troops and more than 150 Afghans at a checkpoint.
Images of children being passed over the airport fence were widely circulated during the dramatic final days of the 20-year war.
One of the troops who died in the airport bombing, US Marine Nicole Gee, 23, posted to Instagram a photo of herself caring for an Afghan baby on Aug. 20, with the caption “I love my job.”
The missing child is the latest blight on the US pullout. The Pentagon admitted in September that an Aug. 29 drone strike that it had claimed killed Islamic State bombers actually annihilated 10 Afghan civilians, including a longtime employee of a US nonprofit and as many as seven children.