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Commercial flight out of Afghanistan with U.S. passengers departs for Qatar, reports

The plane will head to Doha, Qatar.

Updated: September 9, 2021 - 10:13am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The commercial flight out of Afghanistan on Thursday with roughly 200 passengers – including dozens of Americans – has  reportedly departed for Qatar.

The departure follows the Taliban saying earlier this week the passengers, including U.S. nationals, were cleared to leave aboard the flight to Doha, Qatar.

The flight is the first large-scale evacuation since U.S. and NATO forces left Afghanistan late last month, the Associated Press reports. 

The acting foreign minister of the Taliban, Malawi Amir Kahn Muttaki, thanked the special envoy to Qatar for his country's help to restart flights out of the international airport in Kabul. 

The final U.S. military plane left Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 31. Since then, an unclear number of Americans have been stranded in Afghanistan, unable to leave as the Taliban regain control of the nation. 

Also unclear is exactly who else will be on the Qatari plane, but no Afghans without foreign citizenship are expected to be able to leave the country. 

At the press conference held Tuesday by the Taliban, leaders of the country's new government said that international travel would be able to be resume shortly.

"When Afghans and foreigners want to leave Afghanistan, they should do it lawfully, having a passport and a visa," said Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban's spokesman and deputy information minister.