UK Armed Forces enter final stages of evacuation in Kabul
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UK Armed Forces enter final stages of evacuation in Kabul

30 Aug 2021 (Last Updated August 30th, 2021 15:36)

UK Defence Secretary has authorised the closure of the evacuating handling centre.

UK Armed Forces enter final stages of evacuation in Kabul
A member of the RAF escorts Afghan refugees at RAF Brize Norton. Credit: © Crown copyright/Government of UK.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced that British Armed Forces have reached the final evacuation stages at Hamid Karzai Airport (HKIA) in Kabul, Afghanistan.

As per the UK’s planned schedule, processing facilities inside the Baron Hotel in Kabul have been closed now.

This will allow the UK Armed Forces to focus on evacuating the British nationals and others who are awaiting departure at the airport.

According to the MOD, the UK’s ability to evacuate further members is now extremely minimised and any extra numbers will be reduced.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has already approved the decision made by the Joint Operations chief to shut the evacuating handling centre in Kabul.

Wallace said: “Our top priority as we move through this process will be the protection of all those involved who are operating in a heightened threat environment.

“It is with deep regret that not everyone has been able to be evacuated during this process. But I am proud of this remarkable achievement from our Border Force, Armed Forces, MOD, FCDO, Home Office who have evacuated over 13,000 people in 14 days during Operation Pitting.

“We will continue to honour our debt to all those who have not yet been able to leave Afghanistan. We will do all that we can to ensure they reach safety.”

Two weeks ago, Wallace authorised the deployment of 600 troops to Afghanistan to help British nationals evacuate the country safely.

This short-term deployment focused on assisting British nationals working at the UK Embassy in Kabul to leave Afghanistan as early as possible.