HARDENED Paras were moved to tears as distraught Afghan mums tried to throw babies over razor-wire fences in the hope of getting them out of the war-torn country.
The women had fought their way through crowds to reach the perimeter of Kabul airport.
They braved brutal Taliban beatings to get within distance of soldiers tasked with guarding the airfield.
And in heart-wrenching scenes that echoed Saigon in Vietnam half a century ago, the mums held up their babies so they could be taken.
The drama saw both British and American military personnel assisting the children in the heroic attempts to put them on flights.
One Para officer said: “The mothers were desperate, they were getting beaten by the Taliban.
“They shouted, ‘Save my baby’ and threw the children at us. Some of the babies fell on the barbed wire. It was awful what happened.
“By the end of the night, there was not one man among us who was not crying.”
Similar displays were played out at another part of the airport where US troops were on duty.
Phone footage showed one Afghan woman holding up her toddler daughter as two US sentries looked down.
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One of them had no choice but to put down his M16 rifle and take the girl’s arm to lift her over the wall as a crowd beneath moved forward.
And one Afghan child able to make it aboard was pictured sleeping on the cargo floor of an evacuation plane, kept warm by a soldier’s tunic.
Around 800 Brits and 5,000 Americans are guarding Kabul airport as part of a last-ditch airlift attempt to evacuate thousands of foreign nationals and Afghans who had worked for the Nato-led mission.
When Saigon fell to the Viet Cong in 1975, mums thrust their infants on helicopters leaving the US embassy.
Some had notes pinned to them with messages such as “likes sport”. Most never saw their parents again.
The latest scenes follow the deadly chaos in which US soldiers killed two civilians who allegedly “brandished weapons menacingly”.
British troops have accused the Americans of “heavy-handed tactics”.
A source in the Afghan capital added: “It is much worse at night. During the day, the crowds are OK. But at night, they surge forward, to try to get in.
“And the Americans do things very differently. There has been a lot of friction between us and them.”
One British soldier said: “It is very hard to watch what is going on here without being affected. We are not in a combat mission so the way we can protect these people is to get them out of harm’s way as quickly as possible.
“We can only imagine what may happen to those left behind.”
One of the last remaining units of the Afghan National Security Forces is guarding a gate to Kabul airport.
Yesterday, the soldiers were seen firing over the heads of people in a bid to disperse a crowd.
Taliban thugs have also used plastic pipes to beat people away.
Some seven Afghans died on Monday after trying to climb into the undercarriage of a US C-17 transport aircraft.
At least two plummeted to their deaths as a plane took off and one was discovered in the undercarriage when the plane landed at Doha.
The US said it had evacuated 7,000 people since August 14.
That figure includes 2,000 who left on 12 massive US Air Force C-17 Globemasters, Pentagon officials said. Britain has rescued far fewer as officials have struggled to fill the planes because people cannot reach the airport.
The US can take out 9,000 people every 24 hours while the RAF said it can carry 1,000 people a day.
The airport is the only part of Kabul not fully under Taliban control but the militants guard the approach roads.
Some reports said the Taliban were still cooperating last night.
Afghans claim they have been blocked from reaching evacuation flights though the Taliban’s public statements claim a blanket amnesty is allowing anyone to leave.
US jets have roared over Kabul in a show of force each morning.
All US and UK troops are due to be out of the country by September 11 under the terms of a withdrawal deal but US President Joe Biden said: “If there are American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them out.”