EL CAJON, Calif. — A pregnant Southern California woman who “braved beatings and harassment by the Taliban” as she tried to escape Afghanistan has made it out of the country safely, Rep. Darrell Issa said Friday.
Issa, who represents a large portion of East County, said in a news release that “his team has successfully facilitated the release of Nasria, a pregnant American citizen, from Afghanistan.” According to Issa, she was trying to leave with her husband and father and the Taliban didn’t let her.
“She was beaten by the Taliban and kicked in the belly and has been in hiding,” Issa said.
Now the congressman says the mother, 25, is headed home — though she leaves behind the father of her child, who she married in Afghanistan. It is not yet known when she will be back in the U.S.
Issa says he first heard of Nasria’s case through friends who contacted his office. “The congressman and his team immediately established communication channels with Nasria and began coordinating her safe return,” the news release states.
“Weeks of work and countless hours of coordination paid off,” Issa wrote.
It has been more than two weeks since the U.S. withdrew its armed forces from the nation amid a swift takeover by the Taliban, but many Americans and other allies remained stranded in Afghanistan after the military’s exit.
That included more than a dozen San Diego-area students, many from families in the East County where there is a significant Afghan American population. Issa says his office has helped rescue 33 members of his district since the Taliban overran the Afghan National Army.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress this week that about 100 U.S. citizens remain in the country and want to leave, but rescue groups and lawmakers believe the number could be higher.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.