IAF's C-17 aircraft with 168 people from Kabul lands at Hindon airbase

The evacuees consisted of 168 passengers in total, including 107 Indians and some 20 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.
Indian Air Force's C-17 aircraft
Indian Air Force's C-17 aircraft
Updated on Aug 22, 2021 11:06 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

More than 100 Indians and some 20 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus were brought back from Afghanistan's Kabul on Sunday in a C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which landed the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad around 10am, according to people familiar with the matter. The flight took off from Kabul earlier in the day, the spokesperson for the Union ministry of external affairs (MEA), Arindam Bagchi, tweeted earlier in the day.

Also Read | Amid deteriorating situation in Kabul, India evacuates nearly 400 people

"Evacuation continues!" Bagchi tweeted on Sunday. "IAF special repatriation flight with 168 passengers on board, including 107 Indian nationals, is on its way to Delhi from Kabul."

The passengers on the IAF repatriation flight were not immediately allowed to leave the aircraft, news agency ANI reported, as they are to first undergo the RT-PCR test for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Two more flights ferrying Indians from Afghanistan's Kabul landed earlier on Sunday, including a special Air India flight carrying 87 Indians. The Indians were taken to Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe from Kabul on board a transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday.

Also Read | Under Taliban, Afghanistan is the address of global jihad

The Indian embassy in Qatar said late on Saturday that 135 Indians, who were evacuated from Kabul to Doha in the last few days, were also sent to India. People familiar with the matter have said that Indians evacuated to Doha by US and Nato aircraft from Kabul were employees of a number of foreign companies operating in Afghanistan.

The latest evacuations are part of the central government's efforts to bring back hundreds of Indian nationals to the country from Afghanistan, as the situation deteriorated from Kabul following the lightning-fast Taliban offensive.

The Taliban seized Kabul last Sunday after sweeping across Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan. The forces will leave the country by the end of this month.

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Saturday, January 29, 2022