Kabul airport faced huge rush, India parked C-17 aircraft at Ayni Air Base in Tajikistan before evacuation

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IAF C-17 evacuation flight from Kabul landing in Jamnagar with Indian officials on Tuesday.
IAF C-17 evacuation flight from Kabul landing in Jamnagar with Indian officials on Tuesday.

New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): The evacuation of 120 Indian nationals from Afghanistan to Jamnagar on Tuesday came about with India parking its C-17 aircraft at Ayni Air Base in Tajikistan as there was a huge rush at Kabul airport.

Sources said India parked its C-17 Globemaster at IAF's Ayni Air Base in Tajikistan for its use in evacuation.

They said Indian aircraft were on standby at Ayni Air Base and C-17 flew to Kabul when cleared by the US which is controlling Kabul airport.

Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday and took over the presidential palace. Thousands of people rushed to the airport in order to leave the country leading to chaotic scenes there . It made impossible for any aircraft to the airport.

The Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster with 120 people, including the Indian ambassador and embassy staff, landed at Jamnagar airbase from Afghanistan earlier in the day.

Two IAF transport aircraft later landed at Hindan airbase in Ghaziabad with people who were evacuated from Kabul to Jamnagar. IAF had sent additional C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to Jamnagar to bring passengers to Delhi.

India is also exploring options to hire charter planes to evacuate more Indians from Afghanistan, sources said.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Tuesday that the government is committed to the safe return of all Indian nationals from Afghanistan and will institute flight arrangements once Kabul airport is open for commercial operations.

The MEA said in a release that the main challenge for travel to and from Afghanistan is the operational status of Kabul airport and this has been discussed at high levels with India's partners, including by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

The release said in view of the prevailing situation in Kabul, it was decided that Indian Embassy personnel would be immediately moved to India.

It noted that a number of Indians are stranded in that country, some of whom are employed by third country organizations.

"This movement has been completed in two phases and the Ambassador and all other India-based personnel have reached New Delhi this afternoon," it said. (ANI)

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