First Afghans land in UK after pledge to take in 20,000 refugees
Thousands have been evacuated from the country following the Taliban takeover.
The first Afghan evacuees have landed in the UK as part of efforts to rescue thousands from Afghanistan following a takeover from the Taliban.
The RAF plane landed at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at around 11pm on Tuesday, and was also carrying Brits that had been stranded in Afghanistan.
The UK is trying to get 6,000 people safely into the country from Afghanistan after the capital fell to the Taliban over the weekend.
Among those eligible for evacuation back to the UK are British nationals and embassy staff, along with Afghan interpreters and other eligible refugees.
Monday was marred by chaotic scenes at Kabul airport as crowds of people desperately tried to secure flights out of the city.
Those on board the flight on Tuesday seemed relieved and happy to have made it to the UK, giving thumbs ups to photographers from the plane.
But there have been reports of violence and beatings at Kabul airport and checkpoints set up by the Taliban to stop people leaving the city.
Royal Navy Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key said on Tuesday that he did not know how much time the armed forces had to rescue all those eligible for evacuation.
He 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."
Meanwhile, the government has announced plans to accept 20,000 Afghan refugees in the UK over the next five year. There has been criticism of the plans by some though, who accuse the government of not acting quickly enough or going far enough with the plans as just 5,000 refugees will arrive by the end of 2021.
The Metro reports that around 2,000 people have already landed in the country from Afghanistan as part of the government's evacuation plans.