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Stranded Texas Mom and 3 Kids Run 300-Mile Gauntlet to Escape Taliban, State Dept. Blocked Other Evacuees

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A Texas mother and her three children made a daring 300-mile journey through 20 Taliban checkpoints before they finally escaped the radical Islamic regime that now runs Afghanistan. 

While they had some help from a private group, other Americans remain stranded, and six planes are still being blocked from evacuating other U.S. citizens and allies.

The Texas mom and her three kids survived the dangerous journey out of Afghanistan reportedly by paying as much as $500 to $4,000 per person at every terrorist checkpoint, partly thanks to the help of donors.

A team of military veterans funded by private donations led the effort and said the U.S. State Department was of little help.

As the Taliban claims total control of Afghanistan, 100 to 200 remaining Americans, like Nasria, are desperate to leave. She says the Taliban is going door to door trying to find them.

"Am I going to end up living here? Am I going to end up dying here? What's going to happen?" she wonders.  

In Mazar-I-Sharif, empty commercial planes that could carry 600 passengers each are still waiting for clearance from the Taliban. The State Department confirms Americans are among those stuck.

The six private planes were chartered by conservative media host Glenn Beck's charities.

"They're not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America," said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX).

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US State Dept. Restricts Private Evacuations

But the White House says there is "no rush" to recognize the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan.

Speaking in Doha, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he is unaware of any "hostage-type" situation and that Americans are among the groups stopped by the Taliban.

"They have said that those without valid documents, at this point can't leave. But because all of these people are grouped together. That's meant that flights had not been allowed to go," said Blinken.

Meanwhile, an email obtained by Fox News shows the U.S. State Department is putting restrictions on private evacuation flights over security concerns, stranding some Americans.

Taliban Picks Terrorists to Run Afghanistan

Now the Taliban is filling out its posts to create a new Afghan government. Despite what we've heard about a new, moderate Taliban, the new leaders of the country include several men listed by the U.S. and the U.N. as terrorists.

One of them has a $10 million bounty on his head by the U.S. government. 

And Afghanistan's new interior minister is Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on the FBI's most-wanted list with a $5 million bounty on his head. The AP reports his terrorist group, the feared Haqqani network, is believed to still be holding at least one American hostage. 

At least four members of the new Afghan cabinet were once held at Guantanamo Bay before being traded for an U.S. Army deserter who was held by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in 2014.

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About The Author


Tara Mergener is an award-winning journalist and expert storyteller who spent the majority of her career as a correspondent in Washington, D.C. She worked at CBS Newspath for many years, reporting for all CBS platforms, including CBS News and CBS affiliates throughout the nation. Tara also reported at CNN, Hearst’s Washington, D.C. Bureau, and was a contributor on Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren. Tara has won dozens of awards for her investigative and political reporting, including Headliner Foundation’s Best Reporter in Texas, multiple Edward R. Murrow awards, Texas Associated Press