Monday, September 27, 2021

Norway to close Kabul airport hospital following Taliban deadline

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The Norwegian military’s field hospital at Kabul’s airport would shut down on Aug. 31, according to comments by the military to the NTB news agency said.

Previously, the plan was to hand over the management of the field hospital to a civilian agency once Norwegian forces left the country.

But, with the Taliban insisting that all Western forces be gone by the Aug. 31, deadline and no indications that Western powers would flout that timeline, the Norwegians have decided to end operations.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan earlier this month, far faster than the West had predicted and, with no real resistance from Afghan forces.

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Their takeover has prompted a scramble to get Westerners and Afghans who worked with them out of the country for fear of retribution from the Taliban.

“We arrived in Afghanistan with our allies and we are going to leave this country with our allies,’’ Brynjar Stordal of the Norwegian military operational headquarters told NTB.

Norway evacuated a group of Afghan children from the field hospital at the weekend and authorities said they do not know where their parents were.

Many had been brought to the hospital by American troops manning the perimeter of the airport.

Of the 20 Afghan children, many are less than five years old, Norwegian Justice Minister Monica Maeland said.

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She said her efforts were continuing to find the children’s parents, and added that Norway did not plan to evacuate any more Afghan children.

dpa/NAN

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