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Afghanistan: First foreigners fly out of Kabul since US pull-out
Friday, 10 September 2021 - 11:14 | Views - 27

Dozens of international passengers - including UK citizens - have flown out of Kabul in the first such flight since US forces left the country.

The Qatar Airways charter flight landed in the Qatari capital Doha on Thursday, with a second flight due on Friday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged help with evacuations during a recent visit to Qatar.

Hundreds of Afghan citizens who had helped the US military were unable to get out in last month's US airlift.

Reuters news agency reports that 113 people were on the plane.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said 13 British citizens had arrived in Doha, and thanked Qatar for facilitating the flight.


The White House released a statement confirming that US citizens had flown, and also thanked Qatar, saying the flight was the result of "careful and hard diplomacy and engagement".

It said the Taliban had been "businesslike and professional" in helping the US citizens fly out.

Canada has also confirmed that 43 of its citizens were on the flight, while the Netherlands said 13 of its nationals were on board.

In a press conference held at the airport, Qatari special envoy Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani described Kabul international airport as operational and said it was a historic day for Afghanistan.

The flights are the first to leave since the rushed US military-led evacuations finished last month, following the Taliban takeover of the country on 15 August.

More than 124,000 foreigners and Afghans fearful of Taliban retribution were flown out of the country.

Around 100 US citizens were thought to be left in Afghanistan before the flight


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