A 19-year-old Afghan mother was reunited with her child in the UK after they were separated in the Kabul airport explosion.
Mohammed Raza, who turned two in September, needed life-saving surgeries after he was injured when a suicide bomber struck the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26.
According to The Sun, Raza arrived at a Royal Air Force station in Oxford on Oct. 29, after being given the medical all-clear to take the 11-hour flight from an undisclosed country.
His mother Basbibi said she “never thought this day would come.”
“I never stopped crying when I was separated from my baby. Knowing that I couldn’t be there to help him was the worst,” she told The Sun. “When the bomb first went off, I was terrified he had died but I was told I had to leave.”
Basbibi said she wanted to “personally thank” Home Secretary Priti Patel for listening to Raza’s case and granting him a visa.
She also thanked The Sun—which reported their story after the explosion—and everyone else who helped to reunite her with her child.
On Aug. 26, 13 U.S. service members and nearly 200 Afghans were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at Hamid Karzai International Airport, where troops were checking on Afghans trying to evacuate the country. Suspected terrorists then fired shots at Afghans and troops.
After arriving in London a day later, Basbibi told The Sun that she had been waved through a gate en route to an RAF flight leaving Afghanistan moments before the explosion.
Her seven family members were at the other side of the gate at the time, but she wasn’t allowed to go back and check on them amid the chaos.
Raza was seriously injured by shrapnel, which also killed his grandfather Sultan—a 48-year-old taxi driver who had been granted UK citizenship a week before travelling to Afghanistan to get his family out. Raza’s father, 22-year-old Miraj, was killed by the gunshots following the explosion.
The rest of the family, including Basbibi’s 5-month-old daughter Kalsoom, were missing after the attack, but The Sun said on Oct. 31 that they’ve now been found safe and well, and are waiting to relocate to the UK.
Patel said she’s “delighted” Raza arrived in the UK safely.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she’s “proud the UK has been able to reunite Mohammed, an innocent victim of an abhorrent terror attack, with his family in Britain.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged £50 million ($68 million) in humanitarian aid on Oct. 31 to the U.N. Afghanistan appeal.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.