Ns News Online Desk: Dozens of international passengers – including UK citizens – have flown out of Kabul in the first such flight since US forces left the country. The Qatar Airways charter flight landed in the Qatari capital Doha on Thursday, with a second flight due on Friday.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged help with evacuations during a recent visit to Qatar.Hundreds of Afghan citizens who had helped the US military were unable to get out in last month’s US airlift.
Reuters news agency reports that 113 people were on board the plane.
UK foreign minister Dominic Raab said 13 British citizens had arrived in Doha, and thanked Qatar for facilitating the flight.
Dutch foreign minister Sigrid Kaag has also tweeted her thanks to Qatar, saying that 13 Dutch nationals were on board.
In a press conference held at the airport, Qatari special envoy Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani described Kabul international airport as operational and said it was a historic day for Afghanistan.
Qatar and Turkey become Taliban’s lifeline to the outside world
The flights are the first to leave since the rushed US military-led evacuations finished last month, following the Taliban takeover of the country on 15 August.
More than 124,000 foreigners and Afghans fearful of Taliban retribution were flown out of the country.
Around 100 US citizens were thought to be left in Afghanistan before the flight. Journalists beaten
Photos have also emerged showing injuries inflicted on two journalists who covered protests on Wednesday.
They are reported to have been badly beaten after being arrested by the Taliban in Kabul.
Two Afghan journalists who say they were badly beaten by the Taliban after covering protests in Kabul”
One of the Taliban put his foot on my head, crushed my face against the concrete,”photographer Nematullah Naqdi told AFP news agency. “They kicked me in the head… I thought they were going to kill me.”
Mr Naqdi was covering a protest by women in front of a police station with his colleague at the local Etilaatroz newspaper, Taqi Darybai.
Afghan journalists tell of beatings by Taliban The Taliban have banned protests unless authorized by the justice ministry.
But dozens of demonstrators chanting “we want freedom” gathered near the Pakistan embassy in Kabul and Taliban gunmen opened fire to disperse them, protesters said.
Local media have also reported another protest by women in Kapisa province, north-east of Kabul. Sources told Aamaj news that several women had been arrested. The two journalists say they were badly beaten in Taliban custody