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Pen Farthing and his rescue animals will be boarding an evacuation flight, it has been confirmed.
Concerns had been raised that the former Royal Marine wouldn't be able to make it out of Afghanistan with his 173 dogs and cats after Taliban forces blocked a British convoy from entering Kabul Airport.
However, defence bosses have now announced that Farthing and his animals will be put on a plane back to the UK.
A tweet from the Ministry of Defence press office read: "Pen Farthing and his pets were assisted through the system at Kabul airport by the UK armed forces.
"They are currently being supported while he awaits transportation.
"On the direction of the Defence Secretary, clearance for their charter flight has been sponsored by the UK Government."
Pen Farthing and his pets were assisted through the system at Kabul airport by the UK Armed Forces. They are currently being supported while he awaits transportation.- Ministry of Defence Press Office (@DefenceHQPress) August 27, 2021
Commenting on the post, one user wrote: "Omg please please please let this be true! I haven't settled for days. It's stories and heroes like this @PenFarthing that shine a little bit of hope in this awful world right now. I hope it's all of his colleagues too. As this was always about humans as well as the animals."
This comes after the 57-year-old appealed directly to the Taliban's Doha spokesperson after his attempt to get 94 dogs and 79 cats out of the country was blocked.
Farthing, who founded animal rescue charity Nowzad in 2007, has been desperately trying to get the animals under what's been dubbed 'Operation Ark'.
Along with his staff and their families, he left for the airport around midnight in the hope that the night would bring cooler temperatures for the animals.
The first hurdle came when they were stopped at a Taliban checkpoint, with Farthing telling The Sun: "About 15 guys jumped out and levelled their guns at us.
"Then one of them had an ND [a negligent discharge]. Luckily he was a s*** shot and it went over our heads.
"I very rarely hear Afghans swear in English but I heard a few words then."
They were held there for an hour before they were finally let free to drive across Kabul to the airport.
However, despite making it there at 2am local time, eight hours later the group had still not been let through, leaving Farthing fearful that they only have 'hours' before 'animals start dying'.
After parking the trucks in the shade, staff lifted tarpaulins to get air into the animals, and have also been spraying the crates with water.
Dear Sir; my team & my animals are stuck at airport circle. We have a flight waiting. Can you please facilitate safe passage into the airport for our convoy? @suhailshaheen1 We are an NGO who will come back to Afghanistan but right now I want to get everyone out safely. :pray:- Pen Farthing (@PenFarthing) August 26, 2021
Farthing continued: "There are some in the middle we can't reach and we can't start unloading them because it will attract too much attention room.
"It is getting really desperate.
"We are appealing directly to the Taliban to let us through.
"We have permission to leave.
"We are in touch with the British forces but they say they are powerless to help."
With the Taliban having put an exit deadline of 31 August for all foreign evacuations, many people still in Afghanistan are quickly running out of time.
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