Over 20 US citizens, 48 lawful residents leave Kabul airport in evac flight: US
A Qatar Airways flight with as many as 21 American citizens and 48 lawful permanent residents departed from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on Sunday, the US State Department said in a statement on Monday.
This marks the second evacuation flight in nearly two weeks from Afghanistan, which is now under the control of the Islamist militant group Taliban. On September 11, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken took to Twitter to post a series of tweets on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks.
One of the tweets was regarding the evacuation of 21 US nationals and 11 Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) from the war-gripped country. While 19 Americans were airlifted on Qatar Airways, the remaining two and all the lawful permanent residents were taken out of Afghanistan via an overland route, Blinken’s statement read.
“We continue to work to uphold our commitment to assist departures for those to whom we have a special commitment,” the US Secretary of State’s Twitter post added.
Kabul airport returned to action on September 9 with the evacuation of some 200 foreigners, including several US citizens, on the first flight flying out of the Hamid Karzai airport since the US and its allied forces departed Afghanistan after a war of two decades. After the last soldier of US-led forces left the Kabul airport, the Taliban burst firecrackers to celebrate independence.
Among the 200 foreigners, were an Afghan-American dual citizen, who said that he was told by the US State Department on September 9 morning to reach the Kabul airport. “We got in contact with the State Department, they gave me a call this morning and said to go to the airport,” the father of the citizen, who requested anonymity, told the old news agency AFP.
Blinken had been constantly hedging on enabling charter flights from Hamid Karzai Airport, even saying earlier this month that the US has been in contact with the Taliban for the same – stressing on the fact that the Islamist group had reiterated to permit Afghans to “freely leave” their homeland.
(With inputs from Reuters)