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Councilwoman gets message from family near site of blast in Afghanistan


By Michael Mahoney

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    KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KMBC) — An Afghan family trying to get out of the country with the help of some Kansas Citians was near the site of the first blast at the airport in Kabul Thursday.

A family of eight in the crowd at the airport was near the gate where the first blast happened. They’re safe and unhurt.

City Council member Teresa Loar said she received a message from the husband.

“We were at the gate at the airport and suddenly we heard a loud explosion,” the man said.

“Oh, my God. These people, I mean, it’s life or death for them,” Loar said.

Loar worked on a state department program in Kabul from 2011 until 2013, befriending a local manager hired by an engineering firm Loar worked with.

“He was at the office every day, which is why he is seen as one of those people who was helping the U.S.,” Loar said.

Loar’s friend said the blast was followed by a lot of gunfire.

“Everyone was firing. I don’t know who was firing at who. Was it guys? Was it the Taib? Was it the American troops?” the man said in a message to Loar.

“That’s what I experienced in Afghanistan. When there was any mortar fire activity, people started shooting because everybody has a gun,” Loar said.

“But somehow, we just ran away, Teresa. Just run away. I took the entire family back to the bus,” the man said to Loar.

Loar said she believes this family, if they can get out, are not particular about where they go. They just want out of Afghanistan.

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver is also trying to help. Cleaver said his office has more than 200 requests from Afghanis with Kansas City connections trying to escape.

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