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Indians in Afghanistan asked to return immediately

In a security advisory, the MEA said that as violence in Afghanistan is getting escalated, commercial air services to many provinces are getting discontinued.

IANS | New Delhi |

The Ministry of External Affairs has asked Indians in Afghanistan to return immediately before commercial flights get discontinued in the war-torn country. In a security advisory, the MEA said that as violence in Afghanistan is getting escalated, commercial air services to many provinces are getting discontinued.

“All Indian nationals visiting, staying, and working in Afghanistan are strongly advised to keep themselves updated on the availability of commercial flights from various parts of Afghanistan and make immediate travel arrangements to return to India before commercial flights are discontinued in their place of stay in Afghanistan,” the MEA said.

Indian companies operating out of Afghanistan are strongly advised to withdraw their Indian employees out of project sites before air travel gets discontinued, the ministry said.

Employees of Afghan or foreign companies should also ask their employers to facilitate their travel back to India from the project sites, the MEA said.

Earlier on Tuesday, India said that it is evacuating its nationals from Afghanistan on a “special flight” from Mazar-i-Sharif ~the country’s fourth-largest city~ as Taliban fighters launch another offensive.

“A special flight is leaving from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi. Any Indian nationals in and around Mazar-e-Sharif are requested to leave for India in the special flight scheduled to depart late today evening,” the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif tweeted.

It asked Indian citizens who want to leave by the special flight to submit the details like their full name and passport number to the consulate immediately.

Tuesday’s security advisory said that with the escalation of violence in many parts of Afghanistan, commercial air travel services to many provinces and cities were being discontinued.

Around 1,500 Indians are currently staying in Afghanistan.

Last month, India had pulled out around 50 diplomats and security personnel from its consulate in Kandahar following intense clashes between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters around the city.