Australia

Additional 80 Australians and Afghans evacuated on third rescue mission from Kabul

Another 80 people including Australian citizens, Afghan visa holders and a number of New Zealand nationals have been evacuated on an Australian Defence Force flight over night.

The latest rescue mission takes the total number of people moved out of Afghanistan on a mixture of ADF and British flights to 240.

Government Minister Stuart Robert urged Australians who have been unable to get through the Kabul airport gates to remain in touch with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

“DFAT will co-ordinate with you whatever the next steps are. DFAT will contact anyone in Afghanistan regarding flights,” he told reporters in Canberra on Saturday.

On Friday morning Kabul time, an alert was sent out by DFAT urging Australians to head to the airport for a planned evacuation flight.

Many Australian citizens and visa holders are facing Taliban gunfire at the airport checkpoints, violence and dense crowds. There are also reports of children being trampled upon in the line.

At least 11 Australians were unsuccessful in an attempt to get to the tarmac after being notified by DFAT to head to the airport on Thursday night.

Around 94 people, including a group of former interpreters for the ADF, landed in Perth on Friday morning and are now in hotel quarantine.

More than 200 visas have been issued to locally engaged employees, who include interpreters and other Afghan staff, in the past week.

Mr Robert said the number of people who have had visas issued has risen to 690 on Saturday.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 430 visas had been issued to locally engaged employees. 

More to come.



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