British troops have been praised for running into the “carnage” caused by a suicide bombing, which took place as they tried to help Afghans flee the Taliban.
Brigadier James Martin, commander of the 16th Air Assault Brigade, said the response to the attack near Kabul airport was “one of the most beautiful things I have seen”.
Its troops assisted injured Afghan civilians and provided support to their American counterparts.
He added that this included providing a perimeter security to allow US forces to evacuate their wounded and killed with “dignity” and in a safe manner.
At least 169 Afghans, 13 US servicemen, two Britons and the child of a British national died in a bomb attack by Isis-K, an Afghan branch of the Islamic State group, last week.
Brigadier Martin was speaking after his involvement in Operation Pitting, which evacuated more than 15,000 people from mid-August.
Addressing the bombing, he told reporters: “The way I saw our soldiers react to this incident was one of the most beautiful things I have seen.
“They ran towards the explosion, they provided immediate medical aid and support to Afghan civilians who had been wounded, they provided support to the Americans in explosive ordnance disposal and they provided a perimeter of security. so that Americans can remove their wounded and killed with dignity and under a safety screen.
Speaking to Sky News, he also said: “It was carnage, it is carnage. When this level of explosion and the combination of shrapnel explode, there is only one only result, and it is carnage.
Reflecting on the UK’s 20-year deployment to Afghanistan, Brigadier Martin also told reporters: “I think it’s fair to say that none of us would want to see Afghanistan where it is. currently.
“But I would observe a couple of things.
“In these 20 years not a single terrorist attack has come from Afghanistan and that is ultimately why the coalition went there in the first place.
“During this period, I think I am correct that about 6.3 million women were educated, a legacy that will continue – you cannot de-educate these women.
“I guess my last observation would be a question of myself, what is the price of 20 years of freedom for the people who lived in Afghanistan during that time?”
The Daily Telegraph reported that the Prince of Wales, Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment, wrote to the troops while they were still in Afghanistan.
“You are not only an exceptional merit for the Parachute Regiment, but also for this country, which, without a doubt, is luckier than it can imagine to have people as dedicated and courageous as you. ready to move forward at such a crucial time. ,” he wrote.