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Nepal sends SoS for citizens stuck in Afghanistan

After the takeover by the Taliban, people are urgently leaving Kabul for safer places (Photo: IANS)

The Nepal government has appealed to the international community to help it move Nepali citizens from Afghanistan to safer places after the Taliban's dramatic takeover of Kabul.

The government has written an official letter to various countries–the US, the UK, Germany, Japan and Canada to help in bringing back Nepali nationals. It has also written to the United Nations to help bring back its citizens, many of whom have been working in diplomatic missions and international organisations.

Reuters has quoted Sewa Lamsal, Nepal Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying: "We have formally written to embassies requesting them for the evacuation".

It is believed that about 6,000 Nepalis work in the conflict-torn country but the government has details of only 1,500 nationals working in Afghanistan. Most are employed as security staff with international organisations and embassies.

The Nepali embassy in New Delhi is overseeing the evacuation of its citizens. Indian news agency ANI quoted Lamsal as saying: "As per our Embassy at Delhi, there are currently 1,500 Nepali nationals in Kabul out of which 300 are working with the US Embassy there".

Separately, Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also asked its citizens in Afghanistan to get in touch with it. Nepal does not have diplomatic relations with Afghanistan even though its citizens work in the war-torn country. The Ministry has asked its nationals to register themselves on the official website of the consular services department.

The Nepal government has formed a task force from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Home, Labour and Employment, Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Police Department to coordinate evacuation operations.

The Foreign Ministry has also asked human resource agencies, providing manpower to Afghanistan, to provide details of Nepalis working in the country.

ANI adds that a suicide bombing by the Taliban had killed 13 Nepali nationals in 2016 who were working as security staff for diplomatic missions in Kabul.