The evacuation of German forces in Kabul has begun – under dramatic circumstances. Initially, only seven people were able to be rescued after the triumphant advance of the Taliban. Now there are more.
Berlin/Kabul (dpa) – According to the Defense Ministry, 125 people have flown from Afghanistan on a second Bundeswehr aircraft.
“With 125 evacuees, the A400M from Kabul is on its way again to Tashkent/Uzbekistan,” the ministry wrote on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. “German civilians and Afghan local staff and others in need of protection are on board.”
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) wrote on Twitter that “more than 120 people, Germans, Afghans and members of other countries” were on board. “The airlift has started and will be continued intensively if the security situation somehow allows it.”
After the Taliban came to power, a first machine had flown the first five Germans, as well as a European and an Afghan, from Kabul to neighboring Uzbekistan under difficult conditions. The A400M transport plane previously circled for five hours over Kabul airport, which was blocked due to chaotic conditions on the tarmac. The gasoline wouldn’t last much longer.
The federal government now wants to continue the evacuation campaign at full speed. The two A400M have to commute between Kabul and Tashkent. American machines also remain in use. On Monday evening, 40 embassy employees were taken by plane of US allies to Doha in the Gulf emirate of Qatar.
Defense Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) said that if a permanent airlift is established, for example in consultation with the US government, more transport capacity could become available.