Spain has ended its evacuation mission in Afghanistan, and Britain will stop within hours. Two Spanish planes have flown the last 81 Spaniards and also 83 Afghans from the Afghan capital Kabul and are expected at an air force base near Madrid in the afternoon, Spanish media said. France will also stop the evacuations in the course of Friday.
According to British defence minister Ben Wallace, people are no longer allowed to enter the airport, and there are still about a thousand people departing on British aircraft.
A number of countries had already stopped evacuations from Kabul, including Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands and Poland. The US Department of Defense had emphasized on Thursday that evacuations could still take place over the weekend. According to the latest reports, only 1,000 people with US travel documents left at the airport to fly home, not counting US troops at the airport.
On Thursday, there was an attack at the airport in Kabul. About 90 people were killed, including 13 American soldiers. The branch of the terrorist group active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the IS-Khorasan, carried out a massacre with suicide bombers. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a US checkpoint near the entrance, and there was an explosion at the entrance of a hotel nearby. There was also a centre where people were selected for a flight abroad on the basis of their travel documents. A shooting at the airport followed the explosions.
According to the United States, the new rulers in Afghanistan, the Taliban, seem prepared to continue to help foreigners leave the airport after the departure of American troops from the airport on August 31. The US government speaks of a working relationship and a common interest with the Taliban. That has so far enabled the evacuation of an estimated more than 100,000 people at Kabul airport.
The Sunni extremists of the Taliban have regained control of the country since August 15, but the government apparatus and the economy have come to a standstill. So they have a great economic interest in getting the country back on track quickly, and they would therefore adopt a diplomatic attitude towards the US, among others.