The first rescue mission by the UK government carrying Afghan evacuees has landed safely in the UK after escaping the Taliban even as thousands remain trapped in Kabul and fearing for their lives.
The Royal Airforce plane, which also carried stranded Brits, touched down in Brize Norton in Oxfordshire early Wednesday morning .
People were pictured peeping through the plane windows and giving photographers on the tarmac below a thumbs-ups before disembarking the Voyager A330 aircraft.
The UK government say troops are rushing to evacuate around 6,000 people from Afghanistan.
UK Ministers on Monday announced plans to help Afghans fleeing the Taliban by giving some 20,000 refugees sanctuary in the UK over the coming years.
The first flight of British nationals and embassy staff arrived at the base on Sunday night, and more flights carrying Afghan interpreters and other eligible locals are expected in the coming days.
Royal Navy Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key told Sky News: ‘How long have we got to do it? We don’t really know, so every day we are working as hard as we can to bring as many forward into this pipeline as we possibly can.
‘Clearly there is a dynamic political situation running across the city.
‘We make no assumptions about that other than we really can’t afford to pause and wait.’
There are new disturbing reports that the Taliban has been beating Afghans trying to flee Kabul.
The airport in the capital city is the only way out of the country.
Although the US has secured the airport itself, the Taliban control the road to it and have set up numerous checkpoints in Kabul’s north.