Canada to resume flights to aid Afghan evacuations

·1 min read

(Reuters) -Canada plans to resume military flights to Afghanistan to evacuate civilians as the United States regains control of the Kabul airport, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) said late on Tuesday.

"CAF flights will support ongoing operations and will evacuate as many Afghans, who are at risk due to their close and enduring relationship with Canada, as possible," a CAF spokeswoman said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

U.S. forces had to pause all evacuations after thousands of people desperate to flee Afghanistan thronged Kabul's airport on Monday, after the Taliban fighters streamed into the capital unopposed.

The airport runway and tarmac are now clear of crowds and military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan started taking off on Tuesday morning, a Western security official at Kabul airport told Reuters.

Chartered flights carrying fleeing Afghans have arrived in Canada from Monday evening and additional flights will be sent starting Tuesday night, according to the statement.

"We are working in close coordination with our U.S and Allied partners on plans to resume evacuation flights out of Afghanistan as soon as possible," CAF said.

CBC News first reported the news of Canada resuming military flights into Afghanistan citing sources.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair and Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru and Steve Scherer in Ottawa Editing by Chris Reese and Michael Perry)

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