Indian embassy officials, including ambassador, evacuating Kabul

NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON (REUTERS, XINHUA) – Indian embassy officials in Kabul, including the ambassador, are being evacuated from the Afghan capital, a spokesman for the foreign ministry in New Delhi said on Tuesday (Aug 17).

“In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately,” spokesman Arindam Bagchi said on Twitter.

Thousands of people desperate to flee Afghanistan thronged Kabul’s airport on Monday after the Taleban seized the capital, leading to chaos and the deaths of several people. It prompted the United States to pause evacuations.

On Tuesday morning, military planes evacuating diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan started taking off from Kabul airport, after the runway and tarmac were cleared of crowds, media reports said.

The airport reopened at 1935 GMT on Monday (3.35am Tuesday Singapore time), and the US was taking charge of air traffic control at the airport for military and commercial flights, media reports quoted Major General Hank Taylor, a logistics specialist on the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying in Washington.

Gen. Taylor said around 2,500 US soldiers are in Kabul to assist the evacuation of US personnel and Afghans who have worked for them, adding that more troops are expected to arrive, according to the reports.

The Taleban on Monday told Kabul residents that their lives and properties are safe and they can carry on their work.

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