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Afghans tell Euronews how the 9/11 attacks shaped their lives

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By Euronews
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Euronews' special correspondent in Afghanistan Anelise Borges speaks to Emal Ahmadi, who lost family members in a US drone strike, September 2021.
Euronews' special correspondent in Afghanistan Anelise Borges speaks to Emal Ahmadi, who lost family members in a US drone strike, September 2021.   -   Copyright  Euronews
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Emal Ahmadi didn’t see the two hijacked planes hitting the twin towers in New York City on 11 September, 2001. At the time, Afghanistan was under the control of the Taliban and television sets were not authorised there.

But his life and the lives of many of his fellow Afghans have been shaped by that day, and the subsequent "war on terror" launched by the United States.

Ten members of Emal’s family were killed in the last US strike on Afghanistan last month, including his 2-year old daughter.

American forces said the operation targeted a suicide car bomber suspected of preparing an attack on Kabul airport.

It was "a big mistake of the USA to target the civilians here," Ahmadi told Euronews.

He had a message to the US and their allies. "Do not try to target civilian people. Because Afghan people like their members of their family is a lot. And when they lose a father or brother or son is very difficult for them," he said.

9/11 triggered America’s longest and deadliest war. As US troops left Afghanistan, the conflict had cost the lives of over 2,500 US soldiers. Estimates put the number of Afghan lives lost at over 150,000.

Ahmadi says he doesn’t want revenge. As a former interpreter for the US army, he had applied for a special immigrant visa and was planning to leave Afghanistan.

Now, he says, those plans are dashed, buried with the bodies of his loved ones.