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India evacuates Kabul embassy, IAF plane flies back with 120 staffers

The Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft carrying Indians from Kabul, Afghanistan, lands in Gujarat's Jamnagar (All pictures courtesy Twitter/@AsianetNewsEN)

India evacuated its embassy in Kabul on Tuesday amid an escalating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as Taliban fighters have taken over the country. A special Air Force flight is bringing back India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, along with other staff and ITBP troops.

An Indian Air Force C-17 plane with 120 Indians on board took off from Kabul airport this morning.

"In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted this morning.

Mr Bagchi shared the helpline number — 919717785379—and the email address to help coordinate the repatriation.

Also read:  US troops fire in the air at Kabul airport as fleeing Afghans rush to planes

Other countries such as the US, UK and Germany are also shutting down their embassies in Kabul.

Over 200 Indians including Foreign Ministry staff and ITBP soldiers posted at the Indian embassy in Kabul for their protection were stuck in Kabul.

Two Indian Air Force planes had landed in Kabul to bring them back. But there was  a problem in getting them from the embassy compound to the airport as the Taliban fighters have clamped a strict curfew in the city.

The Kabul airport reopened early on Tuesday Afghanistan time after being closed for hours by US forces following a breakdown in security on the tarmac that interrupted evacuation operations, a top US general said.

Thousands of Afghans had rushed on to the runway at the Kabul airport in a desperate attempt to escape from the Taliban. American troops had to fire in the air in order to control the mad rush towards the planes.

A tragic video clip that has grabbed world attention shows two persons falling to death from a plane in the sky as they had clung on to the outside of the plane while it was on the runway.