Afghanistan Security Failure: Documents Identifying Staff Left At UK Embassy In Kabul, Report Says

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The British defense chief on Friday promised to “shed light on” a security breach that has seen documents identifying Afghan staff and job applicants left behind at the abandoned British embassy in Kabul.

Times of London reporter Anthony Loyd said he found the papers strewn on the ground as he visited Kabul’s abandoned diplomatic quarter with a Taliban escort this week.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said “clearly it is not enough” that the documents were not secured. He said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will “ask some questions” about what happened.

The first flight carrying evacuated British Embassy staff and various British nationals arrives from Kabul to RAF Brize Norton in England on August 16.  (AP / Ministry of Defense)
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The first flight carrying evacuated British Embassy staff and various British nationals arrives from Kabul to RAF Brize Norton in England on August 16. (AP / Ministry of Defense)

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“We’re going to find out and get to the bottom of it,” Wallace told LBC Radio.

Thousands of citizens who worked with Western forces tried to leave Afghanistan, fearing retaliation now that the Taliban controlled the country.

Loyd said the documents included the name and address of a senior embassy staff member, contact details of other employees, and the resumes and addresses of people applying to be interpreters.

He called the phone numbers he found and learned that some staff had already left Afghanistan but others were still in the country, including three Afghan staff and eight family members stranded outside the Kabul airport as they tried to leave.

The government said they were eventually found and taken to safety. The Times said the fate of at least two of the job applicants remains unknown.

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The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said it would investigate how the documents were dropped in the precipitous departure of British diplomats from the embassy as the Taliban advanced on Kabul earlier this month.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “when our embassy was withdrawn, every effort was made to destroy sensitive material.”

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