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Indian Air Force evacuates ambassador, staff and ITBP personnel from Afghanistan: Details

Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon, his staff members at the Kabul embassy and ITBP personnel who were deployed there to provide security were evacuated by Indian Air Force's C-17 Globemaster on the morning of August 17.

On the occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day, two Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 carriers landed in Kabul to evacuate the embassy staff and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel, reported NDTV. The rescue mission was undertaken amidst the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan’s capital city.

NDTV reported that no evacuations became possible on the intervening night between August 15 and August 16. As per the report, the Indian embassy was under the watch of the Taliban, and the security of the highly fortified Green Zone (the district that houses international embassies) was compromised. It was only on Monday (August 16) that the first batch of 45 Indians was successfully evacuated from Afghanistan.

The aircraft departed the Hamid Karzai International Airport under ‘challenging circumstances’, given that the local Afghans were desperate to escape from their country. Reportedly, the Taliban had initially stopped the 45 Indian personnel, who were evacuated yesterday. They had also taken away some of the personal belonging of the embassy staff members. The Taliban had also laid siege on the Shahir Visa agency, responsible for processing Afghan visas to India.

But, the remaining 120 staff and ITBP contingent could not be evacuated on Monday. This was due to the presence of large mobs and the closure of the airport route due to chaos. However, all of them including ambassador Rudrendra Tandon were rescued safely on Tuesday morning. They had boarded the second Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster carrier and left for India on the morning of August 17. NDTV reported that the rescue mission was facilitated following an overnight meeting between EAM (External Affairs Minister) S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

At about 12 pm on August 17, the IAF’s C-17 Globemaster landed at Gujarat’s Jamnagar, safely with the evacuated Indians from Kabul.

Taliban takes over Kabul in Afghnaistan

After a month-long offensive against the Afghan army, terrorists associated with the Islamist outfit Taliban finally reached the gates of Kabul on Sunday (August 15). Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is expected to become the new President of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime, while US-based Ali Ahmad Jalali will head an interim government for the time being before the Taliban forms a full-fledged government.

Meanwhile, chaotic scenes were observed at the Kabul Airport after the Taliban managed to capture the capital of Afghanistan. Videos have gone viral on the internet that shows Afghans hanging on to the tyres of flights leaving the country from the Kabul Airport and then falling off from the sky after take-off.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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