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Afghanistan: India evacuates diplomats amid security concerns

India has evacuated its ambassador and all other diplomats from Afghanistan, the foreign ministry said. 

They were flown out in a special military flight on Tuesday to the Hindon airbase near capital Delhi. 

The aircraft was carrying around 150 people, including diplomats, officials, security personnel and some stranded Indians. 

India’s foreign minister, S Jaishankar called the evacuation process a “difficult and complicated” exercise.

“Happy to be back home safely and securely,” Ambassador Rudrendra Tandon told local media on Tuesday. 

Afghanistan’s security situation has been fluid after the Taliban took over and President Ashraf Ghani fled. In the past few days, thousands of desperate Afghans have raced to the airport in a frantic attempt to flee. 

The commercial airspace is shut and foreign troops have been struggling to keep the Kabul airport functional amid the chaos. 

Mr Tandon said that some Indians are still stranded in Afghanistan, and will be evacuated after commercial flight services resume. It’s unclear how many there are, but many have pleaded with Indian authorities on social media to evacuate them.

Tuesday’s evacuation temporarily ends India’s diplomatic presence in Afghanistan. Experts say this could make make it difficult for people – both Afghans and Indians – who want to travel to India. 

But they say it’s the right decision given the volatile situation. 

Meanwhile, the Taliban, who have taken full control of the country, have been asking people to return to work without fearing any retributions.

But experts say it’s too early to fully trust these promises given the group’s bloody past.

By BBC NEWS