Germany begins evacuation of citizens from Kabul

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Germany on Monday begun the evacuation of German citizens from Kabul with staff from Berlin’s Kabul embassy arriving in Doha on a U.S. aircraft.

Dpa reports that four members of Switzerland’s mission in Afghanistan were also on board.

The German government decided on Friday to reduce its embassy staff to a minimum and took all staff to the airport on Sunday.

The first evacuation flight was by a U.S. aircraft as Germany’s Bundeswehr was not scheduled to send its own planes, two A400M aircraft, to Kabul until later.

The German planes would form a central part of a so-called airlift operation over the next few days to evacuate German embassy staff, German nationals and local personnel who have worked or are working for the Bundeswehr or other ministries.

The two military transport aircraft have space for 114 passengers.

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They will fly the passengers to a third country so far not named by the German government for security reasons.

From there, they would be flown to Germany in a civilian aircraft. It is not yet clear how many people will be flown out in total.

Specially trained paratroopers from the Bundeswehr’s Rapid Forces Division are supporting the operation.

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Sunday described the situation as dangerous but said the government was ready for all scenarios.

On Sunday, Taliban militants entered the Afghan capital Kabul and took control of the presidential palace after rapidly taking cities across the country in recent days, in some cases without a fight. (dpa/NAN)

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