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Glenn Beck announces rescue of Afghan soccer players targeted by Taliban, says US ambassador 'blocked' flight plans

Image provided via Glenn Beck

Editor's note: This story has been edited to correct several details that were inadvertently reported incorrectly due to confusion and hasty communication from teams on the ground. We regret any errors in the original version of this story.

Glenn Beck announced Sunday the secure passage of nearly 100 people who were being held at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport in northern Afghanistan.

The group of people rescued includes 32 Afghan women's youth national football team, FIFA registered.

Beck explained on "The Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday the girls who were rescued were at high risk to be exploited during the ongoing crisis caused by the Taliban takeover. The women and their families were placed in safe houses before being evacuated from Kabul and transported to the the Mazar-i-Sharif airport.

The Nazarene Fund, supported by thousands of generous Americans, worked together with DeliverFund, a nonprofit organization that combats human trafficking, and other private charities to secure the rescue of the vulnerable Afghans. Beck said Kam Air, the largest private airline in Afghanistan, helped, as did Ukraine, which secured planes permitted to land in the West.

How did it happen?

According to Beck, Pakistani Prime Minster Imran Khan helped make the rescue operation a success. Beck personally reached out to Khan, who responded "with determination and without hesitation."

Beck explained:

[Khan's] leadership of placing humanity before politics is a great example of inter-faith cooperation between the faiths, bridged by the shared value of human compassion. Prime Minister Khan's tireless leadership, supported by the military and civilian resources of Pakistan and their ability to cooperate with the Taliban, has enabled the first of 2 flights to depart Mazar I Sharif with FIFA female athletes and their families on board, in keeping with their unequivocal pledge to allow civilian allies of NATO forces to depart safely if they wished to.

Khan, in fact, advocated on behalf of the passengers to secure their safe passage beyond Taliban checkpoints.

What role did the US government play?

According to Beck, U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Daniel Rosenblum threw a wrench in rescue efforts when he "blocked" the planes from landing in nearby Uzbekistan. Rosenblum's decision forced rescue organizers to alter their plans.

"We had it ready, last week. We were going to Uzbekistan. And they blocked us," Beck explained, later adding, "It was astounding. And it was ready — it was literally within three hours to go, and the ambassador from the United States to Uzbekistan said, 'You can't let that happen. You can't let these planes land.' And so they called it off."

Ultimately, safe passage was secured via alternative means, and the planes eventually landed safely in Portugal after making a brief stop in Georgia.

The government of Portugal announced the safe arrival of the refugees on Monday.

Rescue operations to evacuate Americans, religious minorities, persecuted minorities, and those being targeted by the Taliban will continue in the days and weeks to come, thanks to the generous supporters of the Nazarene Fund.

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