Afghan footballer, 19, who died trying to cling to US evacuation jet

Pictured: Afghan football player, 19, who died trying to cling to landing gear of US evacuation flight in desperate attempt to escape the Taliban

  • Zaki Anwari’s remains were discovered in the wheel well of a US C-17 jet when it arrived in Qatar on Monday
  • He was among several people who died after clinging to the jet as it took off from Kabul airport
  • Harrowing video showed bodies tumbling to the ground as the hulking military jet climbed into the sky 
  • The promising young footballer was among thousands who rushed to the airport to escape the Taliban
  • In a final Facebook post he wrote: ‘You’re the painter of your life. Don’t give the paint brush to anyone else!’
  • Mr Anwari attended the Esteghlal High School, in Kabul, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the country
  • The beloved teen’s ‘unspeakable loss’ was mourned by his peers and coaches on social media today 

A former Afghan national youth team footballer died when he became trapped in the landing gear of a US evacuation flight in a desperate attempt to flee the Taliban, it emerged today.

The remains of Zaki Anwari, 19, were discovered in the wheel well of a US C-17 transport aircraft when it arrived in Qatar on Monday.   

The athlete is believed to be among several people who died after clinging to the jet as it took off from Kabul airport, with harrowing video showing bodies tumbling to the ground as the plane climbed into the sky. 

Mr Anwari’s death was confirmed today by the General Directorate of Physical Education & Sports of Afghanistan, according to Ariana News.

The promising footballer had rushed to the airport hours after Kabul fell to the Taliban, pouring onto the runway in utter desperation and running after the USAF jet.

In his last Facebook post, the talented young player said: ‘You’re the painter of your life. Don’t give the paint brush to anyone else!’ 

He lived in Kabul and had attended the Franco-Afghan Esteghlal High School, one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the country. 

Mr Anwari was called up to the national youth team as a 16-year-old and was beloved by both his peers and coaches.

In a social media post, one friend wrote: ‘Brother, with whom I had the most unforgettable memories, his unspeakable loss fills me with sadness.’ 

Afghanistan’s assistant manager Ali Askar Lali said: ‘May his soul rest in peace and his memory be remembered.’


Zaki Anwari, 19, had played for the Afghan national youth football team

The 19-year-old is believed to be among several people who died after clinging to the jet as it took off on Monday

At least three bodies were seen falling from the USAF jet as it climbed into the air on Monday

People chasing after a USAF C-17 cargo jet at Kabul airport on Monday, when thousands poured onto the runway for a chance to flee the Taliban




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