First flight carrying passengers leaves Kabul since US pullout

Evacuees land in Doha after first airlift from Kabul since US pullout

The Qatar Airways charter flight landed in the Qatari capital Doha on Thursday, with a second flight due on Friday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged help with evacuations during a recent visit to Qatar.

Hundreds of Afghan citizens who had helped the US military were unable to get out in last month’s US airlift.

Reuters news agency reports that 113 people were on the plane.

“We hope that in the near future the airport will be ready for all kinds of commercial flights,” said Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

“I can clearly say that this is a historic day in the history of Afghanistan as Kabul airport is now operational,” said Qatari special envoy Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, adding that another commercial flight would leave on Friday.

A foreign diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said another 200 foreigners including Americans would depart in the next couple of days.

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