Spain evacuates 294 more Afghan workers and families

International Headlines

Afghan refugees arrive at the Torrejon military base in Torrejon Ardoz, Spain, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. A plane provided by the Spanish government has brought 294 Afghan refugees via Pakistan to Spain. The mission brings to 3,900 the number of Afghans flown to Spain since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year. (Alejandro Martinez Velez/Europa Press via AP)

MADRID (AP) — A plane provided by the Spanish government has brought 294 more Afghan refugees via Pakistan to Spain, authorities said Thursday, bringing to 3,900 the number evacuated by Madrid since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year.

Spain said the latest group of Afghan workers and their families flew into an air base near Madrid late Wednesday and were met by government officials, including Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister José Albares.

“This flight is further evidence that we are keeping our commitment to not leave anyone behind,” Albares said in a statement.

The group included people who had worked for or helped Spanish government officials and Spanish troops stationed in Afghanistan before the Taliban takeover. The statement said Spain has carried out five evacuation operations over the past year.

Albares told Spanish National Television on Thursday that the government will continue to bring former Afghan workers and their families to Spain, but for security reasons he couldn’t say how many.

Spain launched the flights to bring workers who hadn’t been able to leave Afghanistan during the airlift operation in August 2021, when it pulled out about 2,200 Spaniards and Afghans via Kabul’s airport.

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