Czech Republic evacuates embassy in Kabul

An Afghan policeman stands guard at a checkpoint in Kabul on Aug 14, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

PRAGUE (REUTERS) - The Czech government said on Saturday (Aug 14) it would evacuate its two diplomats from its embassy in Kabul along with local workers as the security situation in Afghanistan worsened.

Taleban forces captured a major city in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, sending Afghan forces fleeing, and drew closer to Kabul, where western countries scrambled to evacuate their citizens from the capital.

The United States is flying in troops to evacuate embassy staff and citizens and other countries are also moving their diplomats.

"I have decided on the immediate evacuation of our diplomats to the international airport in Kabul," Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek told reporters on Saturday.

At a state security council meeting later, government ministers also decided to evacuate local embassy workers.

"These people served the Czech Republic and we have full responsibility for them," Kulhanek said in a statement. "The wives and small children of our co-workers face death and torture. We simply cannot allow that."

Those who assisted the Czech army, like interpreters, would also be evacuated, the government said in its statement.

Evacuation flights would take place in the coming days, it said.

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