The former British soldier’s privately-funded charter flight landed at London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning – but his 24 staff and dependents from the Nowzad shelter were not on board.
A former Royal Marine who founded an animal shelter in Afghanistan has expressed “mixed emotions” after landing in the UK with nearly 170 dogs and cats.
Paul “Pen” Farthing was trying to get his staff and rescue animals out of Kabul when they became caught up in Thursday’s airport bomb blasts.
His privately-funded charter flight landed at London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning – but his 24 staff and dependents from the Nowzad shelter were not on board.
Dominic Dyer, a friend and animal welfare campaigner, said the former British soldier was forced to travel back alone after being told it was not possible to find people to fill the plane’s seats.
He said the shelter staff were “still in their homes”, adding that efforts would be made to try to get them out of Afghanistan.
He added that they are among thousands of Afghans “that have a right to leave the country but actually have no safe passage out at the moment”.
Mr Farthing tweeted: “Arrived Heathrow with partial success of #OpArk.