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Escape from Kabul: One Afghan family’s tale of heartbreak and rescue

In one hand, she held the key to her escape from Afghanistan: travel documents. In the other arm, her 2-year-old daughter, who everyone in the family affectionately calls “the baby girl.”

Nasema was close and immediately fell to the ground.

“The explosion was so heavy and shocked the entire area around it,” she recalled. “I saw body parts, blood, dead bodies, rubble, heard the loudest crying of people asking for help.”

“I remember the canal, the dirty water,” she told CNN, speaking on the condition that only her first name be used. “I didn’t want to get too close to the edge of it because I saw a lot of people falling in.”

Nasema tried to get her bearings. Dizzying confusion and shock from the initial blast turned to intense panic. She and her family ran away, Lal now carrying the toddler.

“As we moved to safety I took her shirt off in [a] hurry,” Nasema said, “looking for wounds and…

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