Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Ex-Marine Pen Farthing 'So Happy' As Charity Staff Reach Pakistan

Pen Farthing has revealed on Twitter that his staff are ‘safely in Islamabad and in the care of the British High Commission’.

A former Royal Marine who set up an animal charity in Afghanistan has said he is "so bloody happy" that his charity's Afghan staff have finally left the country at the border with Pakistan.

Pen Farthing, who set up the Nowzad animal rescue charity in the country after serving there, had vowed not to leave from Kabul airport unless his Afghan staff and all his animals could come too.

However, he was forced to leave with only his animals as the situation deteriorated.

Now, he says his staff are 'safely in Islamabad and in the care of the British High Commission'.

His fight to bring all his animals and his staff with him in the wake of the Taliban takeover became known as Operation Ark and his plight attracted worldwide media attention.

It also led to a public war of words with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace who said it was distracting from evacuating the most vulnerable from Afghanistan.

He also claimed Ministry of Defence (MOD) staff had faced abuse from Mr Farthing’s supporters.

Mr Farthing has since apologised that emotions "got the better" of him when he left an expletive-laden message for a Government aide while trying to evacuate animals in Kabul to the UK.

Cover image: Former Marine Pen Farthing, Nowzad founder, Kabul (Picture: Alamy).