OTTAWA — Canadian officials say a C-17 Globemaster transport plane evacuated 106 more Afghans from the chaotic Kabul airport on Friday and brought them to a safe third country.
The senior Canadian government officials were briefing journalists Saturday on the condition they not be named as per the agreements for such background briefings.
They said foreign nationals were also on the Friday flight, but did not disclose the number citing security reasons.
The flight was Canada's second one out of Kabul since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last weekend, a development that destabilized the country and sowed chaos and uncertainty.
It followed a Thursday Canadian flight bearing 175 fleeing Afghans and 13 foreign nationals.
All of the Afghans were interpreters and other workers who supported Canada's military and diplomatic efforts in the war-torn country.
The Afghans on Thursday's flight are bound for other countries, while the 106 on Friday's are destined for settlement in Canada, officials explained, noting the effort comes as part of Canada's commitment to resettle 20,000 refugees.
Immigration officials are working remotely from Ottawa and throughout the Middle East to process applications for Afghans trying to flee to Canada.
Global Affairs Canada personnel are in direct contact with applicants in Kabul via email and cellphone to gather information for their applications and tell them when they can try to make their way to the airport.
Officials acknowledged that some Afghans destined for the Friday flight couldn't get to the airport, but their advice was to keep trying and they will be put on a plane if they succeed, .
The Canadian flights are at the mercy of a dangerous and tenuous situation on the ground, but the airlift will continue as long as the security situation holds, officials said.
While the airport has been secured for now, actually reaching it and getting through its perimeter remains extremely dangerous, officials said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 21, 2021.
Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press