Spain’s evacuation of Afghanistan ends, diplomatic staff removed to Dubai, almost 2,000 Afghans flown to safety

The Spanish effort to evacuate its personnel from Afghanistan has drawn to a close, with all diplomatic staff safely removed from Kabul to Dubai, and 1,898 Afghan allies flown to Spain as the Taliban’s adopted deadline nears.

On Friday, the Spanish government said the final planes carrying 81 Spaniards had left Kabul and arrived in Dubai in the early hours of the morning. The aircraft were also transporting four Portuguese soldiers and 83 Afghans who had worked with the Western powers during their occupation of war-torn Afghanistan. 

“These two flights conclude the evacuation of Spanish personnel and Afghan allies and their families,” a statement read.

Madrid said the last of the evacuees were expected to land at the Torrejon military airbase near the Spanish capital later today. 

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Taliban members stand near a poster of their leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 26, 2021.
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Spain’s efforts to evacuate the country, which is now ruled by the Taliban militant group, has seen a full repatriation of Spanish staff and the removal of 1,898 Afghan allies to safety.

Germany also concluded its evacuation mission on Thursday, removing a total of 5,200 people from 45 countries since efforts began on August 16. The Taliban has said that all Western missions must cease by August 31, although the UK is among the nations hoping the deadline would be extended. 

The safety of the Kabul airport is increasingly a concern. On Thursday, an Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) suicide bomber made their way through a number of checkpoints before detonating. The blast killed 13 American troops, dozens of Afghan civilians, and at least 28 Taliban members, according to an unnamed Taliban official who spoke to Reuters. 

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