- How many people were evacuated on the Qatar Airways flight
- What the Taliban is claiming about the passengers
A commercial flight took off from Kabul airport on Thursday for the first time since the Taliban seized Afghanistan, hours after the militants cleared a group of Americans and other foreign nationals to leave the country. It is unclear at this stage whether or how many Americans were on board the Qatar Airways flight, reported earlier to be bound for Doha, or the nationalities of the other passengers.
The Taliban’s acting foreign minister, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaki, thanked Qatari special envoy Mutlaq Al-Qahtani for his country’s efforts in restarting flights out of Kabul International Airport, the Taliban said in a statement posted on an official account. A US official told CNN that the Taliban’s agreement for the 200 or so people to leave on the charter flight Thursday came after US Special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad had been pressing the Taliban to allow departures. The Taliban claimed “that some of the passengers do not have the required documentation,” Blinken said. CNN has reached out to the White House, the US National Security Council and the Taliban for comment on Thursday’s developments. The US State Department declined to comment.