BRITAIN faces the “biggest hostage crisis ever” after leaving 1,000 Afghan allies to the mercy of the Taliban and ISIS-K, ministers were warned last night.
The chilling warning came as Boris Johnson said he felt a “great sense of regret” about those left behind and vowed to “shift heaven and earth” to get people out of Afghanistan after the August 31 deadline.
Britain has so far evacuated more than 14,500 Afghan and UK nationals as thousands of people have gathered at Kabul airport over the past 12 days hoping to be rescued after the Taliban seized power.
But up to 150 British citizens and 1,100 Afghan aides are set to miss the final airlifts out after the doors were slammed shut.
Security sources now fear the Taliban, or the terror group ISIS-K, could capture vulnerable Afghans or UK citizens and demand a ransom.
MP Tom Tugendhat, chair of the foreign affairs select committee, said Afghan allies are “literally in fear of their lives” after being left behind.
He told Sky News: “There’s a possibility we may find ourselves with the biggest hostage crisis the UK has ever seen.
“Over 3,000 entitled people were said to be in Afghanistan at the beginning of the process, I don’t know how many now, but we’ll be asking about that.
“And we’ll be looking to see what that means for getting British citizens out, what that means for getting entitled people out and protecting those people who are, quite rightly, literally in fear of their lives now.”
The Ministry of Defence said 750 personnel remained in Kabul tonight – down from the figure of 1,000 at the peak of the rescue mission.
🔵 Read our Afghanistan live blog for the latest updates
Foreign troops are due to leave the war-torn country by Tuesday at the latest after nearly 20 years of conflict.
But Boris Johnson has said he will “shift heaven and earth” to get people out of Afghanistan after the deadline as he confirmed three British deaths in the “contemptible” suicide bomb blast at the airport on Thursday.
The Prime Minister said he felt “a great sense of regret” about those left behind, as the evacuation process enters its final stages.
He said: “I think what their loss really underlines is the urgency of getting on and concluding Operation Pitting in the way that we are, and also underlines the bravery of our armed services, our troops, everybody else involved.”
‘SHIFT HEAVEN AND EARTH’
The PM added: “Of course, as we come down to the final hours of the operation there will sadly be people who haven’t got through, people who might qualify.
“What I would say to them is that we will shift heaven and earth to help them get out, we will do whatever we can in the second phase.”
Thirteen US troops and dozens of Afghans were among those killed in a terror attack at Kabul airport.
A young British girl is missing after the attack as her dad was named tonight as one of the 170 victims.
The attack made for America’s deadliest day in Afghanistan for 10 years – and Republicans claimed US President Joe Biden had “blood on his hands”.
On Friday, the Pentagon said the attack involved only one location and not two as previously reported.
The Pentagon said there was one ISIS suicide bomber, who struck at the Abbey Gate, where desperate Afghans were crowding to try and enter the airport and where US troops were carrying out security checks.
Major General Hank Taylor, the deputy director for regional operations on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, told reporters there was no second explosion at the Baron Hotel near the airport.
The suicide bomber reportedly hit people standing in a wastewater canal – sending bodies flying into the water.
Tonight, a US official said the suicide bomber carried about 25 pounds of explosives, loaded with shrapnel.
A more routine suicide bomber will often carry five to 10 pounds of explosives.
The official said the massive amount of explosives and spray of shrapnel created such a large blast that it killed US troops who were inside the airport gate as well as troops and Afghans outside.
The bomber reportedly got to within several yards of the Kabul airport gate, where Afghans were crowded in as part of the ongoing chaotic evacuation.
People waiting desperately for a space on a flight out of Afghanistan were seen carrying those who had been wounded to ambulances, their clothes covered in blood.
Another 200 people were wounded while 132 were left so maimed by the attack that they’re unidentifiable, according to a CNN correspondent in Afghanistan.
Other blasts were heard in Kabul hours later, but were believed to be US troops carrying out controlled explosions as they dispensed of weapons.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, sharing a picture online of one of the suicide bombers.