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First flight from Afghanistan with civilians since U.S. exit safely lands in Doha Updated: 2021-09-10 09:35:49 KST

The first evacuation flight since the U.S. exit from Afghanistan left Kabul's international airport Thursday local time, and has since landed safely in Doha.
According to the AFP, there were some two-hundred passengers, including U.S. citizens and several other Westerners, on the Qatar Airlines flight.
Such a large-scale departure comes as the Taliban vowed to cooperate to facilitate the departure of foreign nationals who wish to leave Afghanistan.
The White House also welcomed the safe evacuation.

"We wanted to note that the Taliban was cooperative in facilitating the departure of these American citizens and legal permanent residents from HKIA (Hamid Karzai International Airport). We promised we would get American citizens out. We promised we would get legal permanent residents out. We promised we would get our Afghan partners out. And we promised we'd press the Taliban to get them out. And that's exactly what we did."

While Kabul's airport was seriously damaged in the final days of the U.S. airlift that evacuated tens of thousands of people from the country, Qatari authorities noted that experts from Qatar and Turkey had been dispatched for repair efforts, adding the airport was ready to resume international flights.
However, the evacuation news comes as journalists in Afghanistan say they've been severely tortured by the Taliban.

"For about 10 minutes, about seven or eight people were beating us as much as they could. They would raise sticks and beat us with all of their strength. After they beat us, they saw that we had passed out, they took us to lock us up in a cell with a few others."

He said this happened while he was at protests in Afghanistan's Panjshir region this week, expressing concern about what this means for journalism in Afghanistan going forward.

"When they treat journalists like this, it's possible that journalism will stop in Afghanistan within a few months. It will be destroyed. What we want from the Taliban is for them to be responsible for the security and well-being of journalists."

Other journalists have also complained of assaults since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, and some women say they've been forbidden from working for media outlets.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.
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