Afghanistan

'Guilt' Of Escaping The Taliban: Veteran Forced To Leave Staff Behind Speaks Out

Private contractor Lloyd Comer fled Afghanistan with the help of his staff, but says he will be haunted if they fail to escape themselves.

A British Army veteran who escaped from Afghanistan under the nose of the Taliban has spoken of the "guilt" he feels for his staff who remain in the country.

Lloyd Comer served in the British Army for 35 years before moving into the private sector in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

He managed several thousand local staff and ran projects for the Afghan Security Forces.

Last weekend, with the Taliban just a few kilometres from his compound, he relied on his staff to transport him to the airport – but then had to leave them behind.

An emotional Mr Comer told Forces News: "I just got time to shake their hands, say thank-you and the door was closed."

He described the experience as "traumatic" and said the "guilt" of leaving his people behind has become "overwhelming".

Now back home in the UK, the veteran had avoided the Taliban by hours – the group visiting the site soon after his departure and threatened staff.

Mr Comer is now trying to ensure his employees escape too before facing further danger.

"If I don't get them out, that's going to haunt me for the rest of my life," he said, as the deadline for a coalition troop withdrawal at the end of the month approaches.

If you or someone you know needs support at this time, you can find more information by visiting the British Army website and the Government's website.

Further details about support available can be found on the Forces News website.