NZ completes Kabul evacuation


Wellington, Aug 27 : The last flight by a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) C-130 Hercules aircraft evacuating people from Afghanistan's capital Kabul has in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a briefing on Friday. Ardern said that that no NZDF personnel were in Kabul at the time of the explosions which occurred at the airport on Thursday as they had all safely departed on the final flight, reports Xinhua news agency. NZDF have confirmed that no New Zealand evacuees were left within the Kabul airport. So far, 276 New Zealand nationals and permanent residents, their families, and other visa holders have been evacuated from Kabul. Of these, 228 have already departed the UAE for New Zealand, Ardern said. She added that a further group of 100 people, including New Zealanders and Australians, were taken out on NZDF's last flight out of Kabul. Over the course of the mission, the NZDF aircraft was able to undertake three flights out of Kabul and had brought out hundreds of evacuees who are destined for both New Zealand and Australia, said Defence Minister Peeni Henare. He added that Australia also brought out a number of those destined for New Zealand. It was not yet clear when the deployed NZDF personnel and the C-130 aircraft will arrive in New Zealand. /IANS


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