Many Afghans were told by the British Embassy to go to Kabul airport’s Abbey Gate, where a terrorist attack killed more than 170 people last week, according to a report by the BBC.
The embassy instructed Afghans who were trying to find a way to leave the country after the Taliban takeover to head to the gate just hours before the suicide bombing, despite warnings by the UK and US about an “imminent” terror threat, the report said.
Emails seen by BBC’s Newsnight program showed the British Embassy told people to “use the Abbey Gate [near] to the Baron Hotel.”
Another email, sent to a former Afghan interpreter whose name was not revealed for security reasons, asked if he was in the right place.
“Please advise that you are at the correct gate? Abbey Gate on… Shawasi Street,” it read.
“If I had followed their advice, I would be no more. I said I won't because I don’t feel safe as the situation was getting worse,” the ex-interpreter said.
“It would be madness to go there and that saved my life. It was our own judgement that saved our lives.”
An advisory by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office described the security situation in Afghanistan as “volatile” only a day before the deadly attack.
“There is an ongoing and high threat of terrorist attack,” it said.
“Do not travel to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. If you are in the area of the airport, move away to a safe location and await further advice.”
The attack, claimed by the Daesh/ISIS-K terror group, killed at least 170 people, including 13 US servicemen.