After the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan, and during the occupation of the Soviet Union, many go into hiding. Among them are Amir and Baba. They hide in a basement for a few week and when they are able to procure a plan for escape, they flee along with a truck full of other refugees.
In that basement are many other refugees and at one point Amir sees Kamal. Kamal does not look good, as he is sickly. With Kamal is his father. Kamal's father explains to Baba a horrible tale of why Kamal does not look good. Recently four men caught and beat Kamal "down there." Kamal came back bleeding and he does nothing but stare out into space.
After the refugees find a way out, Kamal's father screams in pain, as he realizes that Kamal is now dead.