The UK government’s first rescue mission carrying evacuees has landed safely in the UK after escaping the Taliban even as thousands remain trapped in Kabul and fear for their lives.
The Royal Air Force plane, also carrying stranded Britons, touched down at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire early Wednesday morning.
Image of people looking through airplane windows and giving runway photographers a thumbs up before the Voyager A330 lands.
The British government says the army is rushing to evacuate around 6,000 people from Afghanistan.
UK ministers on Monday announced plans to help Afghans fleeing the Taliban by providing around 20,000 refugees to the UK in the coming years. The first flight of British nationals and embassy staff arrived at the base on Sunday evening, and further flights carrying Afghan interpreters and other trained locals are expected to take place in the coming days.
Royal Navy Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key told Sky News: ‘How long have we got to do it? We don’t really know, so every day we are working as hard as we can to bring as many forward into this pipeline as we possibly can.
‘Clearly, there is a dynamic political situation running across the city.‘We make no assumptions about that other than we really can’t afford to pause and wait.’
There are new disturbing reports that the Taliban has been beating Afghans trying to flee Kabul.
The airport in the capital city is the only way out of the country.
Although the US has secured the airport itself, the Taliban control the road to it and have set up numerous checkpoints in Kabul’s north.