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Taliban halted evacuation flights for past 2 weeks: Report

2021 Dec 24, 14:35, Kabul

The Taliban have halted US-chartered Qatar Airways evacuation flights out of Afghanistan for the past two weeks.

The flights were halted over disagreements both about how the Kabul airport is managed and who is provided with seats on the evacuation flights, Sputnik reported citing NBC report on Thursday.

"We are hopeful that flights will resume shortly, though as usual, winter weather conditions and airport operations remain additional factors to be aware of," a State Department official told NBC.

The Taliban allegedly demanded several seats on the flights for their fighters and sympathizers so that they can work in other countries, the Russian News Agency reported.

According to the report, the Taliban argue that they are running the country and Qataris use their airspace, so the radical group should receive seats on the flights.

Prior to the flight suspension, the Taliban were using the seats to send migrant workers to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries to find work, the report noted. The Taliban were deciding who would get the seats, and it was not known who was leaving Afghanistan - Taliban fighters, sympathizers, civilians, or a combination of these groups, the report added.

The report further stated that when the Qatari government declined to continue providing seats, the Taliban halted evacuation flights.

The Taliban took over control of Kabul on August 15 and following this the country has been battered by deepening economic, humanitarian and security crisis.

A combination of a suspension of foreign aid, the freezing of Afghan government assets, and international sanctions on the Taliban, have plunged a country already suffering from high poverty levels into a full-blown economic crisis.

The international community, from governments to non-governmental organizations, has been providing various assistance to the Afghan people.


Taliban Afghanistan government Sanction restriction Evacuation crisis Qatar Airways flight travel airplane
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