Netherlands

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  2. Final flights for several European countries

    As the security situation around Kabul airport deteriorates, Belgium and Denmark have completed their last evacuation flights and Dutch flights are also coming to an end today. The Dutch government says it has been told by the US they have to leave.

    Germany hasn't confirmed its plans but several reports say today's four flights out could be the last, before the German military is largely flown out tomorrow. This is video of one of the final German planes leaving a base in Uzbekistan for Kabul this morning:

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    French PM Jean Castex said on national radio this morning that the last plane would leave tomorrow evening - after that "we can't go on with evacuations from the airport at Kabul", he told RTL radio.

    Belgian PM Alexander De Croo said the last Belgian plane out of Kabul reached Islamabad at 21:30 Pakistan time last night. The decision was taken, he said, because "the situation deteriorated very significantly during the day" and Belgian authorities had got word of the threat of a suicide bombing.

    Dutch TV has shown pictures of a harrowing moment on a bus carrying evacuees outside the airport. Seven people who didn't have Dutch passports were "manhandled off the bus" by the Taliban, a source told the Nieuwsuur programme. The bus was one of three carrying 120 people - it took 24 hours for the buses to be allowed into the airport.

  3. Airport chaos amid European scramble to evacuate Kabul

    People wait to be evacuated from Afghanistan at the airport in Kabul on August 18, 2021
    Image caption: People waiting outside Kabul airport have told of shots being fired as they tried to get in

    Several flights have successfully left Kabul airport in recent hours but European countries are struggling to get people into the complex.

    French, German, Dutch and Czech planes have all taken off but there are reports of shots being fired as evacuees try to approach the airport gates.

    Overnight a Dutch military plane took off carrying 40 people, but none of them Dutch or Afghans. The plane was allowed only half an hour on the ground. One Dutch Afghan family said they were refused entry by US forces at the gate. Further attempts are being made today but witnesses have told Dutch media that warning shots and tear gas were fired at the airport's northern gate. In the past few minutes Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag has said the first Dutch citizens have flown out of Kabul and are on their way back.

    This morning France said 25 French nationals and 184 Afghans had been evacuated from Kabul to Abu Dhabi. The government said some of them had been "exfiltrated" from the embassy, where they had taken refuge, and they would all be heading to Paris soon. Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian praised French diplomats, police and military for their "courageous efforts".

    A Czech plane landed in Prague on Wednesday morning carrying 87 people including Jiri Baloun, the ambassador to Afghanistan, and dozens of Afghans who had helped Czech officials.

    Meanwhile, the first plane carrying evacuees landed in Germany, with 139 people on board. They had flown in from Uzbekistan, where the German government is co-ordinating its Kabul effort to bring out some 10,000 people.

    Albania says it is expecting its first Afghan arrivals today. Along with North Macedonia and Kosovo, it's agreed to provide temporary accommodation before they head to the US.

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