Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said he ‘will not prioritise animals over the men, women and children we see in desperate need at the gate’
Since the collapse of the Afghan government, Paul “Pen” Farthing – who founded the Nowzad animal shelter in Kabul – has been campaigning to have all of his staff and their families, as well as his 140 dogs and 60 cats, evacuated from the country in a plan he has dubbed “Operation Ark”.
On Tuesday morning (24 Augustus), Defence Secretary Ben Wallace vertel Sky News: '[Farthing] could get through the gates as a British passport holder. He was called forward on Friday and I recommend he takes that.
“His workforce have been offered, as entitled personnel, places and they will be able to be called forward, but I can’t guarantee in this window they will be processed onto aircraft, all I can say is they qualify.
“As for the animals that he was rescuing… it is just not going to be the case that I will prioritise them over the men, women and children we see in desperate need at the gate.”
Tweeting in support of Farthing, Gervais – who is a vocal supporter of animal rights – posted: “Urgent: @PenFarthing is brave and kind. Such honour should be rewarded. He’s still trying to save others in the face of grave danger. He shouldn’t be left behind. And they rescued a f***ing car? Shame. #OperationArk.”
In 'n second tweet, hy het bygevoeg: “Dear stupid c***s saying we shouldn’t put animals before people. 1. The animals go in the hold where people can’t go. 2. This is an extra, privately funded plane that will allow MORE people to be saved. #OperationArk.”
Scenes of desperation at Kabul’s airport continue to play out unabated a week after the Taliban gained control.
Seven more people died on Saturday, according to the British Ministry of Defence, and the total number of deaths in and around the Kabul airport has reached at least 20 since the Taliban seized the city last Sunday (15 Augustus).
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One of the seven people crushed to death in a stampede outside the gates of the airport was a two-year-old girl.
Elders, a woman who made it out of the country gave birth aboard a US Air Force C-17 aircraft, the US military said.
The MoD said almost 6,000 people have been evacuated as part of the UK rescue mission in Kabul.