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British soldier who lost legs in Afghanistan says friends ‘died in vain’

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Jack Cummings, from Oxford, has spoken out about his “sadness” and “betrayal” after the removal of Western armies from Afghanistan has seen the country’s leadership crumble and the Taliban have regained control.

Mr Cummings served two tours in Afghanistan as a bomb disposal specialist before he lost both his legs and his left arm.

On the 11-year anniversary of his accident, he said on Twitter: “Was it worth it, probably not. Did I lose my legs for nothing, looks like it. Did my mates die in vain. Yep.

“On my 11th Bangaversary, it is a very sombre one. Many emotions going through my head, anger, betrayal sadness to name a few.

“@BorisJohnson and @POTUS has come and said they didn’t die in vain, you say that face to face to a grieving wife or mum. Many of my mates are f**ked in the head from seeing f**ked up s**t! They will never forget.

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“It’s heartbreaking to see what is happened and happening to Afghanistan, but my fight is over.”

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Cummings said that decided to speak out because he “just needed to vent basically”. He said he felt “anger”, “betrayal” and “sadness” for what both he and his friends have sacrificed and lost “for it just to go to smoke in a couple of weeks.”

He went on to say that he knew there was “no easy way to withdraw from a country” and that “we couldn’t have stayed there forever”, but that it was particularly saddening to see the ease with which the Taliban had swept through Afghanistan.

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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab admitted this morning that the UK Government was “caught by surprise” by the Taliban’s quick takeover.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “We saw a very swift change in the dynamics, and of course this has been part and parcel of the withdrawal of Western troops, but it has also been the way and the approach of the Taliban.

“Of course, it has been a test for the Afghan security forces. All of those factors have been very fluid. But no one saw this coming. Of course, we would have taken action if we had.”

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