10 more Canadians evacuated from Afghanistan after Kabul airport reopens for passenger flights
43 Canadians were on the first flight to leave Kabul since the U.S. military withdrawal
Ten more Canadians were evacuated from Afghanistan today on a civilian flight bound for Qatar, Canadian officials say.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau tweeted Friday afternoon that the flight was organized by Qatar and departed Kabul for Doha. The minister wrote that the Canadians "will be arriving in Canada within days."
Forty-three Canadian citizens were evacuated from Afghanistan on Thursday on a separate flight, also organized by the government of Qatar.
Thursday's flight was the first passenger flight to leave Afghanistan since the U.S. military completed its withdrawal from the country in late August.
The federal government has said it's been working with other countries to negotiate with the Taliban on resuming commercial operations at the airport in Kabul.
The first flight departed just days after the Taliban announced its newly formed government.
A Qatari official said about 200 passengers are expected on today's flight.
The ruling Taliban have promised to allow foreigners with proper travel documents to leave Afghanistan, but there are concerns for the safety of departing passengers and the condition of the Kabul airport following the frenzied military rescue mission.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said today Canada is still working to get Afghan nationals eligible to come to Canada out of Kabul.
"As you see, we are and have been working with our allies in the region, including the Qataris, to ensure that we're able to get Canadians out of Afghanistan, but also keep putting pressure on the Taliban to get people who have Canadian travel documents, including Afghan citizens, out of the country," he said. "We will continue to do that."
Trudeau said that he hears from Canadians every day that they want the government to do more.
There were 1,250 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members still in Afghanistan when the U.S. military left on Aug. 30.
One Afghan who worked with the Canadian Armed Forces as a contractor is in hiding with his wife and four young children in Afghanistan. They all have been granted visas to come to Canada but said they haven't heard been told by the Canadian government how to get to safety.
Global Affairs Canada said it can't release further details about today's flight due to privacy concerns, but assured Canadians it's working hard to get more people to safety.
"We are working tirelessly, including through close cooperation with our international partners, to bring home remaining Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families and the vulnerable Afghans who have supported Canada's work in Afghanistan," wrote the department in a statement to CBC News.
With files from The Canadian Press