36 Irish citizens and residents have been successfully evacuated from Afghanistan 2 years ago

36 Irish citizens and residents have been successfully evacuated from Afghanistan

However, more Irish citizens and residents in the country have contacted the Irish Government in the last 48 hours requiring assistance.

A total of 36 Irish citizens and residents have been successfully evacuated from Afghanistan, the Department of Defence has confirmed.

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On Thursday afternoon, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and the department issued an update on Ireland's Emergency Consular Aid Team (ECAT) mission to Kabul.

This was after it was announced the team - comprising of Irish diplomats and members of the Army Ranger Wing - would be withdrawing from the Afghanistan capital today (26 August).

The statement reads: "The pre-planned process of the withdrawal of our Emergency Consular Assistance Team (ECAT) mission to Kabul is now complete. ECAT was designed to be a short-term phase of the ongoing consular response to the situation in Afghanistan.

"In line with other countries, the decision to withdraw today was made against the backdrop of an anticipated deteriorating security situation.

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"Since the deployment of the ECAT... 26 Irish citizens and residents were successfully supported to evacuate Afghanistan. This is in addition to the 10 people who had been evacuated prior to ECAT’s deployment. A total of 36 people have been evacuated."

However, the department also described the number of Irish citizens, residents and their family members requiring ongoing Irish consular assistance in Afghanistan as "fluid".

"Over the last 48 hours, we have been contacted by a significant number of additional people requesting assistance. We are now aware of approximately 60 Irish citizens and their family members requiring support, in addition to a further 15 Afghan citizens with Irish residency," it said.

"This is an ongoing consular operation and efforts will continue to support Irish citizens, residents and their dependants in Afghanistan. At this time, our strong advice is against coming to or remaining at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) due to security threats."

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The Minister also thanked the members of the ECAT team for their "rapid deployment to such a challenging and complex environment and for their excellent work in securing the successful evacuation of 26 people".

"I know there are many in Ireland today with deep concerns for family members, friends and colleagues who remain in Afghanistan," Coveney added.

"Along with other countries, our team needed to evacuate due to the deteriorating security situation. I can give full assurance that the overall consular effort is continuing and we remain strongly committed to assisting those requiring ongoing consular support in Afghanistan.”

It comes as a number of people are reported to have been killed and injured following two explosions outside Kabul airport.

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Pentagon Press secretary John Kirby confirmed reports of the explosions, stating that one happened near the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport, while the other occurred at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate.

He said the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a "complex attack" and that it resulted in a number of US and civilian casualties.

Main image via Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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