Kabul/Frankfurt (dpa) – The Bundeswehr has rescued more than 1,000 people from Afghanistan since Monday. Another machine with more than 230 people on board took off in Kabul on Thursday evening, the Bundeswehr announced on Twitter. The next plane is already ready.
The aircraft will initially fly to the Uzbek capital Tashkent, from where the civilian aircraft will continue to Germany.
Early Thursday evening, among the rescued were Afghan local personnel and other people in need, 244 German civilians – 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 there were just under 100. Due to the dramatic situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power, many reported. The numbers keep changing. The 40 embassy employees who flew to Qatar on Monday evening are not taken into account.
On Thursday, machines carrying hundreds of rescued people landed in Frankfurt again. In total, about 500 people were on board the two chartered planes of Lufthansa and Uzbekistan Airways from Tashkent in the early morning. A Lufthansa spokesman said another plane landed in the afternoon. There were about 150 people on the Airbus A340.
The Bundeswehr had launched a rescue operation this week for Germans and Afghans to bring them to safety after the militant Islamist Taliban came to power.
After landing in Germany, passengers reported terrible experiences and chaotic conditions at Kabul airport. He saw the dead and heard gunshots. “It’s terrible,” said Mahmud Sadjadi. “Helplessness, hopelessness. Just chaos,” he described the situation in Kabul.
The man from the Westerwald had previously flown to Frankfurt on the Lufthansa evacuation flight. Sadjadi, who stayed in Kabul for three weeks, said it was particularly dangerous at the airport in the Afghan capital. “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. The situation is dire, said Sadjadi, who was being cared for by his children in Frankfurt. “The cheapest thing there is is the life of an Afghan,” said the German with Afghan roots. A terrible game was being played with the land. He himself has a family in Afghanistan, his brothers and sisters live there.