An Afghan baby who went missing after his desperate parents handed him off to an American soldier over an airport wall has finally been reunited with his relatives five months later, Reuters reported Saturday.
Little Sohail Ahmadi was just two months old when he vanished after the handoff in Afghanistan on Aug. 19 at Hamid Kharzai International Airport in Kabul amid the chaos of the American troop pullout from the country.
U.S. embassy worker Mirza Ali Ahmadi and his wife, Suraya, handed the baby to a U.S. soldier expecting to collect him shortly when they made it through the crowds to the airport. Several Afghans were photographed doing the same to get their babies and children out of the dangerous crowds scrambling to exit the country.
But Taliban security forces held the Ahmadis back amid the crush. When they finally got to the airport, they couldn’t find their baby son anywhere.
While his parents and other relatives continued to desperately search for Sohail, he was being cared for by a 29-year-old taxi driver in Kabul who was raising him as his own, according to Reuters.
Cab driver Hamid Safi said he found the baby alone and crying on the floor of the airport after he dropped his brother off there, Reuters reported.
Friends reportedly reached out to Sohail’s relatives when they spotted photos of the baby posted by Safi’s family on Facebook.
After more than seven weeks of negotiations, and a brief detention by the Taliban, Safi finally handed the baby to Sohail’s happy grandfather and other relatives still in Kabul, reported Reuters.
The plan now is to reunite the baby with his parents and four siblings, who are now living in Michigan.
The Ahmadis were overjoyed their baby is now with relatives in Kabul.
Sohail’s grandfather told Reuters, Now “we need to get the baby back to his mother and father. This is my only responsibility.”