Afghan passengers crowd at the airport as they wait to leave from Kabul on August 16, 2021. AFP
Italy's has evacuated 70 embassy staff and Afghan employees from the capital city of Kabul. The plane was scheduled to arrive in Rome on Monday. Video taken at Kabul's international airport and released by the Italian Defense Ministry shows people walking up a mobile staircase to board the plane in darkness.
The evacuation is part of Italy's Operation Aquila Omnia (Eagle Ready for Anything) to quickly evacuate Italian diplomatic staff, citizens and Afghan employees and family members.
Italy had one of the largest contingents in Afghanistan before the pullout.
Italian journalist Francesca Mannocchi, who was on the plane, said that it was carrying 20 Afghan embassy employees and their families, including women and children. Prior to the Taliban advance, 228 Afghanis and their families had been transferred to Italy.
Officials declined to give number of how many remained, but Italian media reported over the weekend that some 390 Afghan citizens and their family members were awaiting evacuation.