Monday, August 23, 2021

Small group of Indian officials coordinating evacuation mission at Kabul airport

New Delhi: A small group of Indian officials is coordinating the country's evacuation mission at the Kabul international airport amid continuing chaos and a challenging ground situation, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The multi-agency group has been coordinating with the American officials handling security at the airport as well as other relevant authorities, they said.

India evacuated 200 people, including the Indian envoy and other staffers of its embassy in Kabul, in two C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the IAF on Tuesday in view of the deteriorating security situation in the Afghan capital city. Kabul fell to the Taliban last Sunday.

It is not immediately clear when the multi-agency team was deployed at the Kabul airport.

On Monday last, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) set up a special Afghanistan cell to coordinate repatriation of Indians and handle related matters.

Sources said the cell received more than 2,000 phone calls and answered over 6,000 WhatsApp queries during the first five days of its operation. It replied to more than 1,200 e-mails during the period.

India on Sunday brought back 392 people, including two Afghan lawmakers, on three different flights as part of its mission to evacuate Indians and Afghan partners from Kabul.

A total of 168 people, including 107 Indians and 23 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, were flown from Kabul to the Hindon airbase near Delhi in a C-17 heavy-lift military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

23/08/21 Press Trust of India/India Today

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