Afghan youngster identified as former national soccer player who died on a US flight.
A former member of the Afghan national junior soccer team died in the landing gear of a US Air Force plane that took off hastily from Kabul airport amid a desperate fleeing of the Taliban-controlled country.
According to East2West News, which cited local reports, the remains of 19-year-old Zaki Anwari were discovered when the C-17 Globemaster landed in Qatar.
“It's very sad to learn that one of the teenagers who attempted to flee #Kabul by seizing the landing gear bay of a #USAF C-17A cargo plane a few days ago was Zaki Anwari, a member of #Afghanistan's national youth soccer team,” journalist Babak Taghvaee tweeted.
“His body parts were discovered in the landing gear bay,” claimed Taghvaee, who previously reported that the crew was compelled to divert to Qatar for a "emergency landing" due to the presence of stowaways in the landing gear.
Zaki Anwari wrote in his farewell Facebook post about being the master of his own destiny.
“You are the painter of your life [sic] Do not hand over the brush to anyone else,” he reportedly wrote.
According to East2West, the former athlete lived in Kabul and attended the Franco-Afghan Esteghlal High School, according to the young man's social media accounts. He joined the country's young soccer team at the age of 16.
Anwari's friends responded to the news of his death on social media.
“We are descended from God and will return to him,” one individual wrote.
Another comment read: "Comrade, with whom I shared the most precious and unforgettable experiences, his loss is unbearable for me."
On their Facebook page, the Khorasan Lions, Afghanistan's national soccer team, reported the young man's death.
“Two days before and after the Taliban captured Kabul, he rode on the wheels of an American jet with numerous other countrymen who fell to the ground while flying,” according to a translation of the team's message.
Massive crowds of Afghans chased after the plane as it taxied down the runway, with some clinging on as it took off.
Two people died moments later as the jet accelerated its ascent above the collapsed city.