– The plane has taken off, but for operational reasons we don’t want to go exactly where it takes off or where it’s flying, Chief Press Officer of the Armed Forces Philippe Simon tells TT.
The purpose of the trip was to support the Swedish Migration Board and the Swedish Embassy in the evacuation of Swedish citizens and former local staff from Afghanistan.
Our people are working hard to make this go as smoothly as possible, says Simon.
Another Hercules aircraft is on site in the area, ready to fly to Kabul Airport – which is marked by chaos.
Secretary of State Ann Lindy (S) described the situation at the airport as “extremely difficult” this weekend.
According to the Swedish Armed Forces, soldiers from the Swedish special forces accompanied the Hercules as a defense.
Several countries had previously sent military forces to facilitate evacuations, including the United States, Finland, Norway, Germany and France.
Local staff on their way home
On Saturday, Ann Linde wrote that State Department employees “have succeeded in bringing local staff with their families to the airport” and that “Swedish citizens are being evacuated as well.”
The first group of local staff from the Swedish Embassy in Kabul is said to be on their way to Sweden and have stopped in Copenhagen, according to reports. Echo on Swedish Radio.
The group with local employees numbered 17 and includes family members and other Afghan Swedes, according to Eckot.
The information has not been confirmed by the Department of State (MFA) or Defense. However, the Danish government maintains that the journey has been completed.
Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod (S) wrote on Twitter that 90 evacuees from Afghanistan came to Copenhagen by plane on Sunday, including people Denmark helped Sweden and Iceland evacuate.
Nor did the State Department previously want to say how many people would be evacuated. But the director general of the Swedish Migration Agency, Mikael Ribbenvik, said earlier this week that he had received a list of 41 local employees of the embassy.
Several countries are evacuating
On Sunday morning, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the arrival of all local employees who worked at the Norwegian Embassy in Kabul to Norwegian territory.
The Danish Foreign Ministry also said that a plane carrying evacuees from Dubai had taken off and was due to land in Copenhagen on Sunday morning.
On Sunday morning, the government came under fire for acting late in removing Swedish citizens and local staff, including Liberal defense policy spokesman Alan Weidmann and Afghanistan veteran Calis Amed.
“Unapologetic writer. Bacon enthusiast. Introvert. Evil troublemaker. Friend of animals everywhere.”