Dutch evacuation bid in Afghanistan fails amid airport chaos

People wait outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, on Aug 17, 2021.
PHOTO: Reuters

AMSTERDAM - Dutch evacuation efforts in Afghanistan were unsuccessful on Tuesday night (Aug 17) as chaos outside Kabul airport made it impossible to get eligible people on a plane, Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag said.

The Netherlands aims to get up to 1,000 local embassy workers, translators and their families out of the country.

But a military plane operated by the Dutch together with other northern European countries left Kabul without any people destined for the Netherlands on board on Tuesday evening, the minister said.

"It's awful. Many were there at the gates of the airport with their families," Mr Kaag told Dutch news agency ANP.

US armed forces securing the airport did not allow any Afghans to enter the gates even if they had the right credentials, and the plane was only on the ground in Kabul for about half an hour, Mr Kaag said.

"I hope the situation will improve on Wednesday. We are trying to get a grip on the situation and to make sure that we get everyone we want to evacuate out."