The family of a 14-year-old girl believed to be among the dozen people killed at Kabul Airport since the Taliban took over Afghanistan released a heartbreaking photograph of her body to draw attention to the human crisis.
Marzia Rahmati, her parents and siblings had secured visas to start a new life in Tajikistan, where they had relatives, but she was trampled to death amid the chaos at the airport, where hundreds of Afghans have been trying to find flights out of the besieged capital, the Daily Mail reported.
The girl became separated from her family when the crowd panicked as gunfire erupted at the airfield Monday.
She fell to the ground and died of internal injures during the stampede, the outlet said.
Marzia’s aunt, Zakia Ahmadi, said the family was “devastated” by their loss but added: “We want people to see what is really happening here right now — a little girl is dead because the world turned away from us.
“My sister Fatima, Marzia’s mother, and her family wanted their daughter to continue her education, and were worried that wouldn’t be possible under the Taliban,” the 28-year-old woman told the Daily Mail.
“They had all the right documents to leave the country, but in all the chaos at the airport, they didn’t have a chance. The crowd was rushing all over the place and then there was gunfire and everyone panicked,” she continued.
The grieving aunt said Marzia’s parents were protecting their two younger children when people started running and Marzia became separated from them.
“When her father got to her she was barely alive and he carried her for a long time before they were able to get medical help,” she told the publication.
“She received a lot of bruises all over her and there was internal bleeding, and in hospital they put cotton wool to absorb the blood coming from her nose and mouth, but she died soon after arriving there,” she added.
Fatima, the girl’s 32-year-old mother, also was injured in the mayhem but was later released from a hospital, according to the Daily Mail.
“The family were so desperate to get out of the country that they took Marzia out of school, missing exams, because they thought this might be their last chance to leave. Now they are broken,” Ahmadi said.