Charter flight from Afghanistan: more foreigners flown out of Kabul

Status: 11.09.2021 5:12 p.m.

With the second civilian evacuation flight from Kabul, more foreigners left Afghanistan. Among them were 45 Germans, as the Foreign Office announced. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in the country is worsening.

With the first passenger flights from Kabul since the end of the military evacuation mission, more than 250 foreigners have now been able to leave Afghanistan. The US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad announced on Twitter. According to Qatar, the second charter plane brought a total of 158 Afghan nationals and foreigners to Doha.

According to the Federal Foreign Office, 45 citizens from Germany and their families were on the second civil flight. Before that, Qatar Airways had already brought 15 Germans from Afghanistan to the Arab emirate of Qatar on the first civilian evacuation flight. A spokesman said that there was intensive work on further exit options.

USA suspend flights

After the militant Islamist Taliban came to power in mid-August, more than 120,000 people were flown out using military machines. Since the end of the military evacuation mission in Kabul with the withdrawal of the last US soldiers, western countries have been trying to allow their nationals and former Afghan local staff to leave the country.

The US government has temporarily stopped evacuation flights with Afghan people in need of protection from places outside Afghanistan to the US because of several measles cases.

Pakistan wants to resume air traffic

Pakistan announced that it would also use Kabul airport again to bring people from Afghanistan. To this end, one wants to first carry out charter flights. Efforts are being made to resume scheduled flights to Kabul, but it could still take some time, a spokesman for the state airline Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) told the dpa news agency.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) meanwhile announced that they had set up an airlift for aid deliveries to Kabul on September 3. Since then, eleven flights have already been handled, bringing 255 tons of emergency aid and food to Afghanistan, said Ibrahim Moarafi, manager and regional director of the Emirates-based service company GAAC, which has been operating at Kabul Airport since November 2020.

Two planes were unloaded from the Emirates on Saturday. The aid deliveries included meat, milk powder, cooking oil and medical supplies, as reported by the AFP news agency.

Difficult situation in the Pandjir Valley

The humanitarian situation in the country has meanwhile worsened. Videos from the Pandjir Valley showed hundreds of families tried to leave the valley. The Taliban are said to have recently stopped allowing food deliveries there. Another video is said to show how the Taliban opened fire on an arrested person. A Taliban spokesman wrote on Twitter that “biased media” published rumors that they were forcing civilians to leave Punjir. That is propaganda and wrong.

In the capital, Kabul, dozens of women expressed their support for the Taliban at a demonstration on the grounds of a university. The banners they carried read: “We are satisfied with the Islamic attitude and behavior of the mujahideen.”

The Pandjir Valley was the last area the Taliban conquered. It is located about 150 km northeast of Kabul.

Taliban flag at the Presidential Palace

The Taliban flag flew again at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York. Hemad Schersad, a member of the Taliban’s culture council, said it was hoisted the day before. The group also painted their banner on the gate of the US embassy in Kabul with a white background.

The Taliban had once given shelter to the planners of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks around Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. When they refused to extradite, US troops marched into Afghanistan with international support and overthrew the Taliban government. Most recently, the Islamists recaptured Afghanistan and formed a transitional government shortly before the 9/11 anniversary.

Other German nationals flown out of Kabul

Philipp Eckstein, ARD Berlin, 9/11/2021 4:58 p.m.

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