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Plane carrying 170, including US, European citizens, departs Kabul for Doha

Plane carrying 170, including US, European citizens, departs Kabul for Doha

FILE PHOTO: People leave to board on a Pakistan International Airlines plane at the airport in Kabul on Sep 13, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Karim Sahib)

DUBAI: The third chartered flight bringing civilians from Afghanistan to Qatar since US forces withdrew last month took off on Friday (Sep 17) with around 170 passengers on board, including US and European citizens as well as Afghans, a Qatari official said.

The flight was due to arrive in the Qatari capital at 4.30pm GMT, they said.

Foreign nationals on board include those from Belgium, Britain, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy as well as the United States, the official said.

The passengers were transported to Kabul airport in a Qatari convoy after the Gulf Arab state reached a safe-passage agreement with Afghanistan's new rulers, the Taliban, the official said.

In Doha, the passengers will initially stay in a compound that is hosting Afghans and other evacuees.

Qatar has emerged has a key interlocutor between the West and the Taliban.

The Gulf state is a close US ally, hosting the largest American military base in the Middle East, and has hosted a Taliban political office since 2013.

Source: Reuters/ga

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