SPAIN’S military airlift of Afghanistan embassy staff and Afghan workers has started.

An A400M plane, normally based at Zaragoza, took off from Kabul airport this morning(August 18) and is en route to Dubai.

Six Spaniards stranded in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover are also on the flight.

Afghans on board include people who worked as translators or in security and logistics.

They have all been allowed to take their families with them,

The Spanish Ambassador, Gabriel Ferran, has remained in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, said: “We are working so that evacuation operation is conducted with maximum security.”

No official passenger numbers have been given for the first flight to Dubai or how many people the Spanish government are looking to evacuate in total.

The El Pais newspaper says that the first plane has between 50 to 100 people on board.

A second A400M craft is in Dubai and is expected to pick up a similar number of passengers from Kabul according to El Pais.

Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, thanked the United Arab Emirates for their support in using Dubai as a staging post.

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