Hundreds of Afghans swarmed the runway of Hamid Karzai International Airport attempting to climb onto a taxiing 140-ton U.S. Army transport plane. Two Apache helicopters buzzed low to disperse them.
Powering through the scrum in a green tunic, 17-year-old Zaki Anwari made his way to the front and clambered onto the plane’s landing gear. As it accelerated past 120 miles an hour, he held tight.
Hours earlier, as the Taliban began its first morning in charge of Kabul, Mr. Anwari, a high-school senior and attacking midfielder for the national youth soccer team, phoned his brother to tell him that if he didn’t flee Afghanistan he would never play again.
“Do not go, go back, you are smart, don’t go,” his elder brother Zakir said.
“I have to try,” Mr. Anwari replied.
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