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Thirteen Britons among hundreds allowed to leave Kabul on first international flight

Written by on 09/09/2021

Thirteen Britons are among hundreds of people allowed to leave Afghanistan in the first international civilian flight since Kabul fell to the Taliban, the Foreign Office has said.

The Qatar Airways flight to Doha took off from Kabul airport earlier on Monday – the first to leave since Western military left Afghanistan.

In addition to the British citizens, Americans and other nationalities including Germans, Hungarians and Canadians were believed to be onboard the flight.

People board the Qatar Airways flight to Doha. Pic: AP
Image: People board the Qatar Airways flight to Doha in Kabul. Pic: AP

The flight has since landed in Doha.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We are grateful to our Qatari friends for facilitating a flight carrying 13 British nationals from Kabul to safety in Doha today.

“We expect the Taliban to keep to their commitment to allow safe passage for those who want to leave.”

The Taliban have said they will let foreigners and Afghans with valid travel documents leave and the flight shows at least some travel is being permitted.

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Passengers presented their documents for checking under the watchful eyes of Taliban fighters as sniffer dogs inspected their luggage.

Kabul airport was extensively damaged after international forces withdrew in a chaotic evacuation in August.

Taliban fighters walk past the flight at the airport in Kabul. Pic: AP
Image: Taliban fighters walk past the flight at the airport in Kabul. Pic: AP

Technical experts from Qatar and Turkey were brought in to restore operations at the airport as some staff returned to work.

 Sky News

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