Norway says Afghanistan evacuations complete

Norway says Afghanistan evacuations complete
A suitcase and backpacks of Afghan people who were waiting to be evacuated are seen at the site of the August 26th twin suicide bombs, which killed scores of people including 13 US troops, at Kabul airport on August 27, 2021. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)
Norway's evacuations from Afghanistan were over with two final planes touching down in Oslo, the Norwegian foreign ministry said on Friday, a day after an ISIS attack on Kabul airport killed at least 85 people.

“The last Norwegian plane from Kabul has just landed,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide told AFP via email, adding that around 20 people had been on board.

Including a plane that landed Friday morning, over 1,100 people have been brought from Afghanistan to Norway since the Taliban returned to power in Kabul.

Among the Afghans brought to Norway is former minister for oil and mines Nargis Nehan.

Around 30 Norwegian army medics remained at a field hospital at Kabul airport that is treating dozens of people wounded in Thursday’s bomb attack at the entrance, claimed by the Islamic State group.

“I can’t say exactly when Norwegian forces will leave Kabul,” but “we are starting preparations,” Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told reporters on Thursday.

The planned withdrawal would stretch over “several days,” he added.

Neighbouring Sweden, which also completed its Kabul evacuations on Friday, said the same day that it would suspend development aid payments to the country under the new Taliban regime.

READ ALSO: Sweden ends Afghanistan evacuations

“We won’t send any further aid, no money that could one way or another reach the regime we see today,” said Maria Lundberg, head of the government’s SIDA aid agency.

Afghanistan is Sweden’s top development aid recipient, to the tune of around one billion kronor (100 million euros, $115 million) per year.

SIDA said that it could resume aid on preconditions including “respect for womens’ rights, that they can go to school, but also guarantees against corruption”.

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