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Afghanistan: Baby who went missing after being handed over to US soldier on Kabul airport wall has been reunited with his family | World news

A baby who went missing after being handed over to a soldier over the wall at Kabul airport has been found and reunited with his family.

Sohail Ahmadi’s parents – Mirza Ali Ahmadi and his wife Suraya – passed it on to a US serviceman on August 19, fearing that he would otherwise be crushed in the crowds of people trying to leave the country after the Taliban takeover.

It took them over half an hour to get to the other side of the airport fence – but when they did, their two-month-old son was nowhere to be found.

Picture:
Sohail Ahmadi was only two months old when he disappeared

They spent days looking for him and were told he could have been evacuated on his own.

Mr. Ahmadi, who had worked as a security guard at the US Embassy, ​​was sent on an evacuation flight to Qatar with his wife and four other children, eventually landing in the United States.

Baby found in Kabul

In November, Sohail was finally located at Kabul, in the care of a 29-year-old taxi driver named Hamid Safi who found him at the airport and took him home to raise him as his own.

It took more than seven weeks of negotiations and advocacy, as well as the intervention of the Taliban police who detained Mr. Safi, for the man to return Sohail to his grandmother and other relatives still in Kabul. .

The infant’s family are now trying to reunite him with his parents and siblings in the United States.

Baby Sohail Ahmadi is carried by his grandmother as they leave Hamid Safi's house,
Picture:
Sohail Ahmadi reunited with his grandmother in Kabul

Mr Safi said he found Sohail alone and crying on the floor at the airport the same day he was separated from his parents.

He said he couldn’t find the baby’s family and decided to bring him home with his wife and children.

Mr Safi has three daughters, but said his mother’s biggest wish before she died was to have a son.

In November, he said he decided, “I’m keeping this baby. If his family is found, I’ll give it to them. Otherwise, I will raise it myself.

Hamid Safi cried while handing Sohail over to his grandfather Mohammad Qasem Razawi
Picture:
Hamid Safi cried while handing Sohail over to his grandfather Mohammad Qasem Razawi

Mr. Safi’s Neighbors Reveal Sohail’s Location

After the publication of an article on the missing child in November, some of Mr. Safi’s neighbors acknowledged him and posted comments on his fate in a translated version of the article.

Sohail’s grandfather Mohammad Qasem Razawi said he brought gifts to Mr. Safi – including a slaughtered sheep and clothes – and asked him to return the child.

But he said Mr. Safi refused.

Eventually, they contacted Taliban police to report a kidnapping. Mr. Safi denied kidnapping Sohail and the complaint was dismissed.

The local police commander decided to organize a settlement, with Mr Razawi agreeing to pay Mr Safi around 100,000 Afghans (£ 700) for the costs of looking after the child for five months.

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A happy reunion

The baby’s parents said they were delighted to see their son again.

“There are parties, dancing, singing,” Mr. Razawi said. “It’s just like a wedding indeed.”

He said Mr. Safi and his family were devastated to lose Sohail.

“Hamid and his wife were crying,” he said. “I cried too, but I assured them that you are both young, Allah will give you a male child. Not one, but several.

“I thanked them both for saving the kid from the airport.”

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