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226 evacuees land at Melsbroek Airbase aboard two charter flights

A charter plane carrying 193 people that were evacuated from Afghanistan by the Belgian military touched down at Melsbroek Airbase (Flemish Brabant) at around 8:30am on Monday. It was the first of two charter flights ferrying evacuees that had been taken from Kabul to the Pakistani capital Islamabad where the Belgian evacuation mission “Red Kite” is based. A second flight carrying 33 others, including 1 diplomat touched down at Melsbroek at around 9:45am. 

By Sunday evening the Belgian military had already evacuated a total of 400 people from Kabul Airport. Speaking at a press briefing on Sunday evening the Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès said that these are mainly Belgian and Dutch nationals.

Once at Melsbroek the evacuees are taken to the near-by Peutie Army Barracks where they are subject to identity checks and security screening as well as been given a PCR test for coronavirus. 

The evacuation mission continues

Meanwhile, Operation Red Kite continues. Once again there will be four Belgian evacuation flights from Kabul to Islamabad today. The situation at Kabul Airport remains chaotic. 

Afghans that worked for the Belgian military and as such are entitled to be evacuated, are not being allowed into the airport compound by the Americans and British forces that are guarding it. They don’t have Belgian passports and the UK and US soldiers guarding the airport seem unaware that in addition to Belgian nationals, Afghans that helped the Belgian military and women’s rights and human rights activists are also on Belgium’s evacuation list. 

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