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Afghanistan's first female pilot makes 'heartbreakingly difficult decision' to seek asylum in the US

Niloofar Rahmani, a 25-year-old pilot lionized widely as the "Afghan Top Gun" after the 1986 Tom Cruise film on flying aces, was scheduled to return to Afghanistan last week after a 15-month training course with the US Air Force. But on the eve of her departure, she declared she will not be returning citing fears for her safety, triggering a storm of criticism in Afghanistan for "betraying" her nation but also garnering support from activists.

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Conflict

Afghanistan's first female pilot makes 'heartbreakingly difficult decision' to seek asylum in the US

Niloofar Rahmani, a 25-year-old pilot lionized widely as the "Afghan Top Gun" after the 1986 Tom Cruise film on flying aces, was scheduled to return to Afghanistan last week after a 15-month training course with the US Air Force. But on the eve of her departure, she declared she will not be returning citing fears for her safety, triggering a storm of criticism in Afghanistan for "betraying" her nation but also garnering support from activists.