The violence outside the airport in Kabul hit home for so many here in Connecticut.
They either have family trying to get out of Afghanistan or they belong to organizations helping Afghans escape the chaos.
This is an emotional time for a sister and brother from Wolcott worried about loved ones still in Afghanistan.
“Today is a very hard day for everyone,” said Anita Mir.
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We met them at the brother’s restaurant - Hasna’s Grill - in Waterbury as we’re all still learning more about the attacks near the Kabul airport.
“My family is leaving from the airport like 100 yards away from there and they see all the crisis. But thank god there was nobody there,” said Salahuddin Mir.
The Mirs tell us several of their family members have already been killed by the Taliban. And now, they’re pleading with the U.S. to help other relatives and Afghans escape.
“We didn’t sleep. We tried to do all the paperwork, anything we can do to at least take some family out,” said Anita.
“We didn’t get any help so far and nobody is out and they’re still in a very dangerous time,” said Salahuddin.
Also watching the events unfold was staff at Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, or IRIS, in New Haven.
“It's just a gut-wrenching situation and it just takes your breath away,” said Chris George, executive director of IRIS.
George said right now they are helping 50 Connecticut residents leave Afghanistan.
“We know of one family that was at another gate, the west gate. The bomb blew up near the east gate, so they were okay,” said George.
George said IRIS is doing everything it can for the entire group, which includes legal permanent U.S. residents and citizens.
Also amid a wave of Afghan refugees fleeing the country, IRIS has already welcomed about 50 to Connecticut recently and is preparing for many more.
“I'm hoping that we can accept as many as we can,” said George.
IRIS said they’re given little notice before refugees arrive. The organization is still looking for housing and donations.
"We offer our condolences to all who were injured and killed in today's violence. Many of them were involved in the humanitarian evacuation of civilians," an IRIS spokesperson said.
CT Delegation Respond to Airport Attacks
Flags in our state are flying at half-staff in honor of the service members killed in Afghanistan and reaction in pouring in.
Governor Ned Lamont said his prayers go out to family and friends of the military members who were killed and injured. He goes on to say they were doing everything they could to get Americans safely home and protect innocent civilians.
Sen. Chris Murphy said these brave service members made the ultimate sacrifice while doing all they could to protect and defend Americans and our allies.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said we need to evacuate every American citizen and Afghan ally from this humanitarian nightmare.