Small group of Indian officials coordinating evacuation missions at Kabul airport


A small group of Indian officials are coordinating the country’s evacuation missions at Kabul International Airport amid persistent chaos and a difficult ground situation, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. The multi-agency group has coordinated with U.S. airport security officials as well as other relevant authorities, they said.

India on Tuesday evacuated 200 people, including the Indian envoy and other staff from its embassy in Kabul, aboard two IAF C-17 heavy transport planes, in view of the deterioration of the security situation in the Afghan capital. Kabul fell to the Taliban last Sunday.

It is not immediately known when the multi-agency team was deployed to Kabul airport.

Last Monday, the Foreign Ministry set up a special Afghanistan cell to coordinate the repatriation of Indians and deal with related issues.

Sources said the cell received more than 2,000 phone calls and responded to more than 6,000 WhatsApp requests in the first five days of its operation. He responded to over 1,200 e-mails during the period.

India brought back 392 people on Sunday, 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 Hindon Air Base near Delhi aboard an Indian Air Force C-17 heavy military transport aircraft ( IAF).

Another group of 87 Indians and two Nepalese nationals were brought back by a special Air India flight from Dushanbe, a day after they were evacuated to the capital of Tajikistan in an IAF 130J transport plane, officials said.

Meanwhile, 135 Indians, who had already been evacuated from Kabul to Doha in recent days by US and NATO planes, were repatriated from the Qatari capital to Delhi in a special flight, they said.

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