Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Pen Farthing Turned Away At Airport Due To 'Changed Paperwork'

In a tweet this morning the former marine said his team and animals were turned away into the "chaos" of "devastating explosions".

Former Royal Marine Pen Farthing says his team and animals were turned away from Kabul airport because of a last-minute change to paperwork requirements.

In a tweet posted this morning, hours after the explosions in the area, the veteran said: "The whole team & dogs/cats were safely 300m inside the airport perimeter.

"We were turned away as Joe Biden had changed paperwork rules just 2 hours earlier.

"Went through hell to get there & we were turned away into the chaos of those devastating explosions. #OperationArk"

Paul Farthing, known as Pen, who founded the Nowzad animal shelter in the Afghan capital, is trying to get 140 dogs and 60 cats out of the country alongside his shelter staff.

Mr Farthing has become well known for his campaign to secure passage out of Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

Yesterday the former marine said on Twitter his vehicle was "targeted" by a gunman amid the chaos of the explosions near the airport.

The ex-Commando had been pleading with the Taliban for "safe passage into the airport" for his convoy of charity staff and animals, saying they were "stuck" at the "airport circle".

On Wednesday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace offered a glimmer of hope for the former Royal Marine.

Mr Wallace said if Mr Farthing arrived at the airport with his staff and animals, officials would seek to facilitate their departure on board a chartered aircraft paid for by donations.

The Defence Secretary had earlier said the chartered plane would merely "block the airfield" and "sit there empty" as the processing of the thousands of people trying to leave Kabul would be prioritised over the airlifting of animals.

Mr Farthing served in Helmand in the mid-2000s and set up the charity Nowzad to look after animals in Afghanistan, with the organisation rescuing dogs, cats and donkeys.

Since the collapse of the Afghan government, Mr Farthing has previously said he will not leave the staff of the Nowzad charity to the "absolutely horrendous fate" they face in the country.

Watch: PM says UK Kabul evacuations will go on despite "barbaric" deaths.

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.