The Spanish government says it has ended its evacuation operation from Afghanistan with the arrival in Dubai of the two military aircraft that have carried Spaniards and vulnerable Afghans out of the Taliban-controlled country
MADRID — The Spanish government says it has ended its evacuation operation from Afghanistan with the arrival in Dubai early on Friday of the two military aircraft that have carried Spaniards and vulnerable Afghans out of the Taliban-controlled country.
The last flights carried Spanish aid workers, Afghan collaborators and their relatives, as well as the last 81 soldiers and diplomats that Spain kept at the Kabul airport, a statement from the Spanish government said. They were expected to arrive in Madrid later on Friday.
Spain has evacuated a total of 1,900 Afghan nationals, the statement said. Those include not only workers for the Spanish forces and embassy, and their relatives, but also people who collaborated with the United States, Portugal, the European Union, NATO.
MORE ON AFGHANISTAN:
— Kabul airport attack kills 60 Afghans, 13 US troops
— Explainer: How dangerous is Afghanistan’s Islamic State?
— ‘ Was it worth it?’ A fallen Marine and a war’s crushing end
— Biden left with difficult choices after deadly Kabul attacks
— Female Afghan robotics team hopes to work for country
— UK animal charity staff caught up in deadly Kabul blast
— Afghanistan’s top high school graduate fears for her future
— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
LONDON — Britain says its evacuations from Afghanistan will end within hours, and the main British processing center for eligible Afghans has been closed.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace says the U.K. has closed its processing center at a hotel near the airport, and the airport’s Abbey Gate has been closed. Two suicide bombings nearby on Thursday killed at least 60 Afghans and 13 American troops.
Wallace says about 1,000 people at the airfield will be flown out “and we will seek a way to continue to find a few people in the crowds where we can, but overall the main processing is now closed and we have a matter of hours.”
He told Sky News it was a “sad fact” that some people would be left behind.
U.S. forces are due to leave the airport by Tuesday.
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani authorities are asking hotels in the capital, Islamabad, to stop taking reservations in order to make room for foreigners who are passing through after being evacuated from Afghanistan.
The overnight request asked hoteliers to halt new reservations for 21 days, giving priority to foreign guests with flights transiting via Islamabad. No current guests were to be affected.
The arrangements come after two suicide bombers attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport, killing at least 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand says it was not able to get everybody it wanted out of Afghanistan in time before the deadly attacks near Kabul’s airport brought its rescue mission to an end.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday she is not yet sure how many people were left behind or whether they were New Zealand citizens, residents or visa holders. She said the New Zealand military had gone to great lengths to try and find people in recent days and had been able to fly several hundred people to safety.
“We went to extraordinary efforts to bring home as many as we could who were either New Zealanders or who had supported New Zealand. But the devastating thing is that we weren’t able to bring everyone,” Ardern said. “And now, we need to look to see what we can do for those who remain.”
Both Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison strongly condemned the attacks that took place Thursday. Morrison described them as “evil” and “inhuman.”