Possibly hundreds of Germans in Afghanistan free press

Kabul/Frankfurt (dpa) – The Bundeswehr has rescued more than 1,640 people from Afghanistan since Monday.

In Tashkent, Uzbekistan, another transport plane carrying 181 people trapped in Kabul landed Friday morning, the Bundeswehr announced on Twitter. Civil aircraft continue to Germany from the Uzbek capital.

In the morning, the Bundeswehr flew “protection personnel” from Afghanistan to Germany for the first time. According to information from the German news agency (dpa), 185 passengers are on board an Airbus A310-MRTT. The plane, which took off from the Uzbek capital Tashkent, will land in Hanover on Friday afternoon. So far, there have been only Bundeswehr shuttle flights between the Afghan capital Kabul and Tashkent. From there it continued with passenger aircraft to Germany.

Among those rescued by early Thursday evening were at least 244 German civilians, in addition to Afghan local personnel and other people in need — far more than originally expected. And there may be several hundred more in the country. Meanwhile, “a middle three-digit number” Germans has registered on the Foreign Ministry’s crisis list, as the ministry’s German news agency learned.

Originally it was just under 100. But due to the dramatic situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power, many have registered. The numbers keep changing. The 40 embassy employees who flew to Qatar on Monday evening are not taken into account.

Afghan local workers arrived in Brandenburg

About 60 local Afghan workers and their relatives have arrived in Brandenburg. Two buses from Frankfurt/Main arrived at the first reception in Doberlug-Kirchhain (Elbe-Elster) on Friday morning. Interior Ministry spokesman Martin Burmeister said they were local workers from Afghanistan with their close relatives. Among them are 29 children and adolescents. The arrival originally planned for Thursday evening was considerably delayed due to the registration of people.

The Afghans initially received food and drink as well as medical care. You have to quarantine for three days and are expected to stay in Doberlug-Kirchhain until Tuesday. Then they could also be distributed to other federal states.

Yesterday, more machines with hundreds of rescued people landed in Frankfurt. In the morning, a total of about 500 people were on board two chartered planes from Lufthansa and Uzbekistan Airways from Tashkent. A Lufthansa spokesman said another plane landed in the afternoon. There were about 150 people on the Airbus A340.

Eyewitnesses report chaos

After landing in Germany, passengers reported terrible experiences and chaotic conditions at Kabul airport. “It’s terrible,” said Mahmud Sadjadi, a German with Afghan roots. He saw the dead and heard gunshots. “Helplessness, hopelessness. Just chaos”, is how he described the situation in Kabul.

The man from the Westerwald had previously arrived in Frankfurt on the Lufthansa evacuation flight. It is especially dangerous at the airport in the Afghan capital, said Sadjadi, who had been in Kabul for three weeks. “For example, you have to go through a Taliban barrier.” Afghan security forces shot. He heard how people died. Without a passport it was not possible to get through to the airport.

Another passenger, who declined to give his name, reported organizational problems during the return operation. “The situation is difficult and not easy to control,” he said. But the people of Afghanistan need help. “The world must help the Afghan people.”

The passenger Sadjadi thanked the federal government for the rescue, but also complained about a lack of information. “There was no information about where to collect, when to collect.” One was left alone, he had no reply to his emails. Other countries are said to have picked up their people by bus and brought them to the airport. “Thank God everything went well.”

Yet he thinks of the many people who are still in Afghanistan. He himself still has a family in Afghanistan, his siblings live there, said Sadjadi, who was taken care of by his children in Frankfurt. A terrible game is being played with the country, he says. “The cheapest thing there is is the life of an Afghan.”

Reactions from politicians

Former Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) spoke out before an international conference in Afghanistan. “The sooner it happens, the better,” he told the editorial network Germany (RND/Friday). Russia and China must join in too – even if both countries are still dominated by ridicule and malice because of the embarrassment of the West. “Today’s triumphal howls in Moscow and Beijing will soon fade,” says Gabriel. In addition to the EU and the world powers US, China and Russia, Pakistan and Iran were also on the table, he emphasized.

The federal government is making 100 million euros available in emergency aid for refugees from Afghanistan. This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The money is to be used to support international aid organizations caring for Afghans who have fled to neighboring countries. Further help will follow.

Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet spoke out in favor of talks with the Taliban to help vulnerable people in Afghanistan. “The art of good foreign policy consists precisely in finding solutions with those states whose goals and human image our society rightly rejects,” said the CDU head of the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “Refusing to enter into dialogue with the Taliban would not help the people who want to leave Afghanistan.”

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