25 Irish citizens and their dependents evacuated from Afghanistan

A group of 25 Irish citizens and their dependents were evacuated from Afghanistan last night .

he 15 citizens and 10 dependents travelled from Kabul to Doha late last night on a specially organised flight with the support of Qatar.

Speaking in relation to the evacuation effort, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said: “This is a huge relief and testament to the ability of our consular team in Dublin and the region who have worked tirelessly through diplomatic channels to access last night’s flight.

“We remain aware and in contact with other citizens who still want to leave Afghanistan and our work with key partners will continue to achieve this. Ireland is also committed to its international obligations to help vulnerable Afghan refugees and groups of people in that category continue to arrive or be in transit.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the 25 citizens and dependents have been met by a consular team in Doha who will assess their needs before they travel on to Ireland.

Previously 63 citizens or dependents were safely evacuated from Afghanistan and last night’s mission brings the total number to 88.

It is the latest evacuation of Irish citizens from Afghanistan since September 19 when 11 individuals were successfully taken out of the country.

Meanwhile hundreds of Afghans flocked to the passport office in Kabul yesterday, after news broke that it would re-open this week to issue the documents.

Taliban security men beat back some in the crowd in efforts to maintain order.

Taliban officials have said the service will resume from Saturday, after being suspended since their takeover and the fall of the previous government in August, which stranded many of those desperate to flee the country.

“I have come to get a passport but, as you can see here, there are lots of problems, the system is not working,” one applicant, Mahir Rasooli, said outside the office.

He said the bleak economic outlook is driving people’s desire to leave the country.

“There is no job and the economic situation is not too good, so I want to have a good future for my kids,” he added.

Additional reporting by agencies

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