Afghan Footballer, 19, Identified as Fatality in USAF’s Recent Evacuation Efforts

On Monday, at least two individuals were seen falling from an American C-17 Globemaster, shortly after takeoff from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. It was later reported that the body of another individual was found stowed away in the landing gear of the transport aircraft.

Afghan news agency Ariana reported on Thursday that Zaki Anwari, a 19-year-old footballer on the Afghan national team, was confirmed as one of the individuals who fell from the C-17 transporting individuals fleeing Kabul after the Taliban seized the Afghan capital.  

Anwari’s death was confirmed to the outlet by the General Directorate for Sport. 

“It is with great sadness that Zaki Anwari, one of the players of the national junior football team of the country, died in a bad accident,” the group wrote in a social media post. “The late Anwari, among hundreds of young people who wanted to leave the country, fell down in an accident from the air.”  

Footage published to social media on Monday showed at least two individuals falling from a C-17 after an apparent attempt to flee the country. 

It was reported on Tuesday that an individual believed to be an Afghan was found dead within the landing gear of an American C-17 Globemaster that was evacuating Afghans and US personnel from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The DailyMail has offered a conflicting narrative, presenting that Anwari was the individual whose remains were discovered in the landing gear of the C-17 following the aircraft’s emergency landing on Monday. 

According to the UK-based outlet, the two individuals seen falling from the transport aircraft were two brothers, aged 16 and 17 years old, who sold watermelon in Kabul’s central market. 

The US Air Force has announced that its Office of Special Investigations will be reviewing the incidents surrounding the chaotic Monday scene at the Kabul-based airport.

The service has also confirmed the presence of human remains in the C-17’s landing gear during an emergency landing at al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

“The aircraft is currently impounded to provide time to collect the remains and inspect the aircraft before it is returned to flying status,” said Air Force Chief of Media Operations Ann Stefanek. 

However, US forces have not provided an estimate for those killed and injured during the American-led evacuation.