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SAS Troops Escape Afghanistan By Wearing Burqas To Fool Taliban

Emily Brown


SAS Troops Escape Afghanistan By Wearing Burqas To Fool TalibanPA Images

Up to 20 SAS soldiers are said to have worn burqas to help disguise themselves as ‘devout women’ in order to escape Afghanistan following the takeover of the Taliban. 

Weeks of evacuation efforts took place from Kabul as the US, UK and other nations attempted to remove their citizens and Afghan residents from the country, but the SAS team, who had been on a mission in the south of Afghanistan at the time of the takeover, were reportedly warned there were no helicopters available to fly them to safety.


The soldiers had to travel hundreds of miles and cross a number of Taliban roadblocks in order to make their way to Kabul’s airport and so decided to wear disguises to avoid repercussion from the militants.

Taliban soldiers (PA Images)PA Images

A source with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Star the team had been in the country on a ‘secret reconnaissance mission when everything went belly-up.’

They commented: ‘They were told to abort the ­operation and to get ready for an immediate extraction to Kabul. The troops ditched most of their equipment except for their weapons and ammo and covered themselves with the burqas. They then bought five taxis and drove to Kabul.’


The soldiers were allegedly helped by Afghan counter-terrorist police, who supplied the troops with a variety of burqas to aid them on their mission.

Taliban fighters in possession of military vehicles (PA Images)PA Images

The coverings helped disguise the soldiers when they came face-to-face with the insurgents at roadblocks, where they are said to have furthered their ruse by waving Taliban flags and claiming they were going to Kabul to welcome the rebels as ‘heroic liberators’.

Describing the events, the source said: ‘Every time they came to a road block an Afghan special forces soldier explained that the women were very devout and wanted to welcome the Taliban back into Afghanistan. It worked. There were a few dicey ­moments but even the Taliban were reluctant to remove a burqa from a woman.’

Crowds outside Kabul airport (PA Images)PA Images

Upon arriving in Kabul, the troops abandoned the cars close to the airport and travelled through several more checkpoints before arriving at a gate, where the source said they revealed themselves to one of the American guards on duty.

They said: ‘An SAS sergeant major walked up to one of the American guys on the gate and said, ‘British special forces on operations’. The American soldier was dumbstruck and said, ‘Say again’.’

After revealing their true identities, the SAS soldiers were taken into a room where they asked to be put in touch with a British officer.


If you’d like to help those who’ve been affected by the recent devastating events unfolding in Afghanistan, you can make a donation to the UN Refugee Agency United Kingdom here

Topics: News, Afghanistan, Evacuation, Kabul, Taliban


The Daily Star
  1. The Daily Star

    SAS soldiers escaped Taliban by wearing burqas and claiming to be 'devout women'

Emily Brown
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