The Netherlands sends transport plane to Kabul amid embassy evacuation
The Netherlands will send a military plane to the Afghan capital, Kabul, to retrieve Dutch embassy workers, interpreters and their families as the Taliban advances, Minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld told RTL Nieuws Sunday afternoon.
The Dutch embassy was evacuated last night and cannot be reached via their old contact details. Anyone in urgent need of the Dutch embassy in Afghanistan can call +31247247247 or send an email to email@example.com.
It was not known how many Dutch citizens and Afghan interpreters were still in Kabul. All interpreters that helped the Netherlands during their mission in Afghanistan have been contacted, according to Bijleveld.
KLM announced on Sunday that they are avoiding the air space above Afghanistan. Flights departing from Schiphol towards New Dehli, Bangkok and Singapore will be diverted to avoid the Afghan airspace. Passengers will need to take into account an extended flight duration.
The Taliban began their attack on the capital on Sunday morning. It was the last major city in Afghanistan not yet in the hands of the Taliban. The large city, Jalalabad, fell into the hands of the Taliban on Saturday.
The Taliban has been discussing with the Afghan regime a peaceful power exchange. Foreigners are allowed to leave Afghanistan unbothered, the jihadists said.
"There will be no attack on the city and there will be a peaceful transfer of power to the transitional government", Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said, according to the AFP.
“The Taliban supports have gathered in the center of Kabul and are waving with flags”, NOS correspondent Aletta André said. “A Taliban spokesperson said that Taliban fighters are waiting outside the city instructions.”
Group of men chanting and carrying #Taliban flag (just managed to film tail end of it here) just passed our hotel on road to Presidential Palace. From a distance, they appeared unarmed. #kabul #afghanistan #pbsnews pic.twitter.com/1ElwzIMBrp— Jane Ferguson (@JaneFerguson5) August 15, 2021