Couple in Afghanistan accuse US marine of 'baby abduction' during troop withdrawal

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US President Joe Biden said of the event: “The past 17 days have seen some of our troops execute the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States.” During the chaotic 17-day withdrawal, US marine Joshua Mast saved the newlywed couple from Kabul by taking them to Washington.

Now the refugee couple are suing the marine and his wife for allegedly abducting their baby who had been rescued two years earlier by US Special Forces.

The girl was trapped underneath rubble following a raid by US Special Forces which had killed the girl’s biological parents and her five siblings.

Following a period at a US military hospital, the girl was then sent to live with her cousin and his wife who arrived in the US in August 2021.

The lawsuit which was filed last month stated that Mr Mast found the couple at international arrivals and led them to an inspecting officer.

They were shown an Afghan passport for the child, but her last name had been changed to Mast.

According to documents which were filed with the court, the couple were unaware that the marine and his partner, Stephanie, had adopted the child in a court in Virginia.

According to the couple, Mr Mast showed them custody papers just five days after their arrival in the US and took the baby from them, who they have not seen since.

The Afghan woman told The Associated Press: “After they took her, our tears never stop.

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The girl is now three and a half years old, and the US couple have asked the federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

The lawyers for the Masts said: “Joshua and Stephanie Mast have done nothing but ensure she receives the medical care she requires, a great personal expense and sacrifice, and provide her a loving home.”

The couple have blasted the Afghan family’s allegations as “outrageous, unmerited attacks” on their honour and have stated in court documents that they have worked “to protect the child from physical, mental or emotional harm”.

Several US government departments have said that the allegations may cause significant harm to the US military and international relations.



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