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More than 200 Afghanistan evacuees touch down in Zurich

A German A400M takes off from Tashkent airport, Uzbekistan, for Kabul on Sunday for an evacuation flight. German armed forces are evacuating German, Afghan and other nationals from Afghanistan using Tashkent airport as a transport hub. Keystone / Bundeswehr / Marc Tessensohn

An airplane carrying 219 people evacuated from Afghanistan has landed in Switzerland.  

This content was published on August 24, 2021 - 09:51
Reuters/swissinfo.ch/ts, mga

The passengers included 141 Afghanistan nationals who had worked at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) office in Kabul, plus their family members. The plane also flew out 78 other Afghan, German and Swedish nationals.

They had first been evacuated from Kabul to Tashkent in neighbouring Uzbekistan and completed the last leg of their journey overnight on board the SWISS plane. The flight had been forced to postpone at the weekend due to security concerns.

The Swiss authorities had communicated on MondayExternal link that the aircraft was also bringing protective material against Covid-19 to Tashkent. Some 1.3 million medical masks were provided by the army pharmacy.

Eight members of the foreign ministry’s Swiss Humanitarian Aid unit were also on board, along with two doctors to accompany the evacuees on the flight back to Switzerland.

Eight employees of the Federal Office of Police (fedpol) also accompanied the flight for security reasons.

“With the SWISS charter flight, Switzerland is making a concrete contribution to the evacuation efforts of the international community,” the foreign ministry said on Monday.

The latest plane load adds to the 100 people that Switzerland had already been able to evacuate after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.

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