Tuesday 21 March 2023

Second shelter for Afghan refugees opened

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The defence ministry has provided another shelter for Afghan refugees arriving from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul after the Taliban takeover.

On Sunday night, 178 Afghan people arrived in the Netherlands and were taken to the Willem Lodewijk van Nassau barracks in Zoutkamp. There are now more than 400 refugees there, taking the accommodation to full capacity.

A new temporary location, the Walaardt Sacré camp in Zeist, has now been made ready and the first refugees have arrived, according to the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers, COA.

They are part of a group of 129 people who were airlifted out of Afghanistan on Monday morning on the sixth evacuation flight. Around 18 had Dutch passports, the defence ministry said.

Some 700 Dutch nationals in total should be brought back to the Netherlands, alongside hundreds of people who assisted the Dutch during the mission.

The Netherlands sent an undisclosed number of extra troops to Afghanistan over the weekend to assist the 62 soldiers already there with the evacuation of Dutch nationals and refugees.

Some 30,000 people have now been evacuated to various destinations around the world in total, but tens of thousands are still waiting for flights at the airport. Tensions are rising there following a shooting on Monday morning involving German and American troops, in which an Afghan security officer was killed. It is unclear who was behind the attack.

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