Switzerland ends evacuations from Kabul

Switzerland ends evacuations from Kabul
The belongings of those who were waiting to be evacuated left at the site of the August 26th twin suicide bombing which killed scores of people outside Kabul airport. Photo: WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP
Switzerland has ended its evacuation operation out of Kabul after helping airlift 385 people to Switzerland following the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, the Swiss government said on Friday, a day after an ISIS attack on Kabul airport killed at least 85 people.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that 34 Swiss nationals and 51 people with permanent Swiss residence permits were among those Switzerland evacuated over the past two weeks, with assistance from Germany.

Local employees of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and their families — 218 people in all — were also among those flown out in the “most extensive evacuation campaign in Swiss history.”

But Bern said 11 citizens and 16 permanent residents of the wealthy Alpine nation remained in the war-torn country, including some working for international organisations on the ground.

“The embassy in Islamabad, which is responsible for consular affairs in Afghanistan, is in contact with them,” the foreign ministry said, adding that it was “continuing to work intensively on possible options to enable these people to leave Afghanistan as well.”

The foreign ministry also said it was “concerned at the “deteriorating security situation in Kabul, and strongly condemns yesterday’s series of attacks.”

Since the Taliban seized control of the country on August 15 as US and NATO troops left, Afghans and foreign nationals have been racing to flee.

The huge crowds waiting to be evacuated were the target of twin suicide bombs outside Kabul airport on Thursday that killed at least 85 people, including 13 US troops.

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