First flight after US evacuation lands in Kabul

Kabul: A United Arab Emirates (UAE) plane loaded with food supplies landed in the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, the first flight to arrive in the Afghan capital after the US drawdown ended on August 31.

“A huge United Arab Emirates plane carrying 60 tonnes of food landed in Kabul airport today,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Friday.

Mujahid said that “the arrival of food assistance provided by the UAE was good news for Afghans. We are thankful to the brother nation of the UAE for the support to Afghans”, Xinhua news agency.

“The Islamic Emirate urges all countries to continue their support to Afghanistan,” he said.

The development came as the airport has remained close for international and domestic flights since Taliban takeover of Kabul on August 15.

Taliban forces took control of the airport on August 31 after the US-led evacuation flights ended.

Technical teams and experts from Turkey, the UAE and Qatar had already arrived and were working to help the Afghan side to make the airport operational, and the international and domestic flights will resume soon, Mujahid said.

“The airport will soon become ready and operational. Unfortunately, the US soldiers have damaged some parts of the airport and now those damages are being repaired by the support of the Qatar and UAE.

“The airport very soon will be opened to the people,” he added.

Earlier on Friday, an expected domestic flight was suspended with an unclear reason.

Meanwhile, a number of Afghans who spoke to TOLO News said they welcomed humanitarian support, saying millions of people need help and the world countries should support them.

“Lots of families living in Kabul have come here from the provinces and they have nothing here. Most people do not have a house and they live in tents. They face economic problems, and the world should help us,” said Noor Khan, a Paktia resident living in Kabul.

“The people of Afghanistan are poor. The world countries should help Afghanistan,” Kabul resident Atta Mohammad said.