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'They Are the Real Heroes;' Afghan American Describes U.S. Service Members Helping Family Escape Kabul

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- The suicide bomb blast that killed 13 Americans and dozens of Afghans at the Kabul airport was on the far side of the world, but very close to home for Farzana, an Afghan American living in the South Bay.

"It happened just seven hours after my mother and brother passed the same way," she said. "This is the situation."

Her brother Reza shot cellphone video showing the crush of people as he, his wife, their three small girls and their mother crossed into an airport checkpoint over the now infamous sewage canal, which would later be the scene of carnage.

"They have a six-month baby. And finally, the American soldiers just pick up the baby and pass their hands one-by-one," Farzana said.

She praised the Americans who pulled the infant to safety and escorted her 72-year-old mother. The family flew out of Kabul that day but later heard what happened when they landed in Belgium.

"My mother just called me last night and just cried for the soldiers who were killed," said Farzana. "She said maybe those soldiers helped me and pulled me up and maybe one of them is killed. My mother doesn't know them, but she cried for them."

During a KPIX interview, Farzana's brother phoned in from Belgium.

"Yes, yes, we are fine, we are ok. But we are not allowed to talk with any reporter, the TV or media," Reza said.

The brother has a special visa which allowed him and his family to escape the country. But Farzana feels for the many others left behind, especially women and girls.

Farzana paid tribute to the Marines and soldiers who lost their lives.

"Those American soldiers they helped my family and helped Afghans and saved their lives," she said. "They sacrificed their lives because of my people. They are the real heroes of America, they are the real heroes."

The family hopes to be reunited soon in the United States.

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