India Closes Last Consulate in Afghanistan, Citizens Evacuated

India has closed down and started evacuating staff from its last consulate in  Afghanistan in Mazar-e-Sharif as the Taliban continues its offensive.

India has also sent a military plane to northern Afghanistan to evacuate its consulate staff, diplomats and citizens. 

“A special flight is leaving from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi. Any Indian nationals in and around Mazar-e-Sharif are requested to leave for India in the special flight scheduled to depart late today evening,” announced the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif

The  Indian embassy advised those who are not able to make it to the military plane and in other parts of Afghanistan to make “immediate” travel arrangements for returning home.

Indian companies operating in Afghanistan were also ordered to withdraw their Indian employees out of project sites in Afghanistan before air travel is halted. 

Indian journalists and other members of the Indian media arriving in Afghanistan were told to contact the Public Affairs and Security Wing of the Indian Embassy for a personalized briefing.

India has already evacuated 50 diplomats and security personnel from its consulate in Kandahar after the Taliban and Afghan troops intensified their clashes last month. 

According to Delhi, there were 1,500 Indians in Afghanistan prior to the mandated evacuations.

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