Madrid, Aug 27 (EFE).- Spain on Friday concluded its Afghanistan evacuation operation having airlifted a total of 1,898 people since the Taliban takeover of the country.
The final two flights from Kabul landed in Dubai this morning with 81 Spanish nationals, four Portuguese soldiers and 83 Afghans, including those who worked with Spanish, Portuguese and NATO forces, as well as their families, the government said.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a tweet: “At 7:17 this morning the final Spanish evacuation flight landed in Dubai with personnel and colleagues who had remained in Afghanistan until the last minute in order to make this repatriation mission possible.”
“Spain will not leave the Afghan people behind. We remain committed to the defense of human rights and freedom in the country, seeking ways to help evacuate the greatest number of people who have collaborated with Spain and the international community.”
Spain has operated a total of 28 flights on a two-part route from Kabul to Dubai and then to the Torrejón de Ardoz airbase near Madrid, which has acted as a holding center for evacuees who formerly collaborated with Spanish and other European Union forces deployed under NATO in Afghanistan.
The conclusion of the evacuation mirrors other Western governments ahead of the United States’ Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan after two decades.
It also comes after a deadly double suicide bombing outside the airport on Thursday that killed at least 95 people and injured 150 among crowds of people attempting to board evacuation flights out of the capital.
The attack, claimed by the Islamic State terror organization, killed at least 13 US military personnel. EFE