Dutch military plans multiple evacuation flights for Afghanistan - minister

People try to get into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

AMSTERDAM, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The Dutch military plans to operate "multiple" flights to Afghanistan, the country's defense minister said in a statement on Monday.

Ank Bijleveld said one aircraft was already underway to Kabul. "In part due to the uncertain situation multiple flights are planned," she said.

"We are doing all we can to get embassy staff, translators and others who deserve our protection out", Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters in The Hague. "But it's very complicated."

Last week Bijleveld put the number of Afghan translators and local staff to be evacuated at "a few dozen," and press agency ANP on Sunday reported that 110 translators and their families, out of 273 that worked for the Dutch mission in Afghanistan, have already been evacuated.

The Dutch parliament's defence commission is due to return from a summer recess on Tuesday to debate the situation in Afghanistan including asylum for translators and others stranded in Kabul.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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