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Prince William 'frustrated at UK not rescuing more Afghan refugees'

PRINCE William has reportedly spoken of his “frustration” over the UK’s evacuation efforts from Afghanistan, it has been claimed.

The Duke of Cambridge, 39, allegedly voiced his concerns that more Afghans could not be rescued from the grips of Taliban rule as he met refugees sheltered in Leeds last year.

In total, 15,000 people were said to have been airlifted out of the warzone by the British army in what was considered the largest operation since the Second World War.

However, many were still left behind and fearing for their lives as the Sun exclusively revealed the plights of those who didn’t make it out.  

And now, speaking to The Times, one refugee who met the Duke last year said the Royal shared in the “frustration” that more Afghan nationals could not have been transported to British shores.

“He said he was frustrated at the withdrawal effort in August. He said he wished we could have brought more people to the UK," the refugee claimed.  

William was also said to have questioned why as many as 12,000 Afghans were stuck in their hotels after plans were made to rehouse them across the country.

It came as he also made clear that refugees “couldn't be more welcome” in Britain before adding: “The most important thing is that you are safe now. You have a bright future.”

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Last year, The Duke reportedly intervened to make sure an Afghan officer and his family were able to board a flight from Kabul to the UK.

The Duke heard about the plight of the former cadet and asked his personal officer to make some calls on his behalf.

The officer, who is thought to have served with the Afghan National Army, had been integral to the British military operation in Afghanistan and had been working closely with British troops.

But his position meant his family of more than 10, including women and children, would have been incredibly vulnerable.

The same week, however, it came to light that a British father, Sidiq Marofahail, was still trapped in Afghanistan as he made a desperate plea for help with his family terrified of Taliban reprisals.

He told the Sun: "We are hiding and I hope to be able to escape, I just don’t know how I will do that.

"We need help from the British government but I just don’t know who to speak with.

"I came to Afghanistan with £1,000 which I had saved up in the UK but I only have 400 left to support my family, but it won't last forever.

"Please I hope someone can help us, I want to take my family to England to be safe and start a new life."

At the time the UK and G7 partners were clear that the Taliban should allow safe passage for those who want to leave – as more stories emerged of British nationals stranded abroad.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The UK’s evacuation operation helped over 15,000 people to safety including British nationals, Afghan interpreters, and other vulnerable people.

"Whilst the success of that operation exceeded our assumptions, we know that there are many left in difficult circumstances.

“The UK is working with international partners to secure safe routes out of Afghanistan as soon as they become available.”

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