The final UK evacuation flight purely for Afghan nationals has left Kabul airport, ending an often chaotic process in which around 14,000 people were airlifted out of Afghanistan by British forces in less than two weeks, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
Any further flights to leave Kabul under the UK’s evacuation operation will also have UK diplomatic and military personnel on board. It is thought any further flights would be able to transport those still needing evacuation, but would now also include personnel travelling back to the UK.
Prompted by the US decision to remove all its forces from the country by 31 August, after 20 years, and hastened by the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the evacuation was punctuated by a bomb and gun attack on Thursday against people waiting at the airport and US troops, which killed more than 90 people.
While around 10,000 Afghan nationals who had worked with UK forces or other organisations have been removed under the Afghan relocations and assistance policy (Arap) scheme, up to 1,100 eligible people were left behind, according to the defence secretary, Ben Wallace.