The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

About 200 foreigners, including Americans, fly out of Kabul


An estimated 200 foreigners, including Americans, left Afghanista­n on a commercial flight out of Kabul on Thursday with the cooperatio­n of the Taliban — the first such large-scale departure since U.S. forces completed their frantic withdrawal over a week ago.

The Qatar Airways flight to Doha marked a breakthrou­gh in the bumpy coordinati­on between the U.S. and Afghanista­n’s new rulers. A dayslong standoff over charter planes at another airport has left hundreds of mostly Afghan people stranded, waiting for Taliban permission to leave.

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media, said the Taliban’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister helped facilitate the flight. Americans, U.S. green card holders and other nationalit­ies, including Germans, Hungarians and Canadians, were aboard, the official said.

Qatari envoy Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani said another 200 passengers will leave Afghanista­n on Friday.

It was not immediatel­y clear how many Americans were on board Thursday and how many were still in Afghanista­n.

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