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Afghanistan: Woman gives birth on US evacuation plane

A woman evacuated from Afghanistan amid the continuing chaos in the country has given birth on an evacuation flight.

US Air Mobility Command posted a Twitter thread about the woman, who went into labour en route to Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Medical personnel boarded the plane after it landed and delivered the baby in the aircraft’s cargo hold.Both baby and mother are said to be in good condition at a nearby medical facility.

At one point on the journey, the pregnant woman began having “complications”, the thread said. The pilot had to descend in order to increase air pressure on board the plane, “which helped stabilise and save the mother’s life”.

Thousands of Afghans are outside the international airport in the capital, Kabul, days after the Taliban took control of the city, waiting in the sweltering heat and a throng of people for a chance to flee the country.

US forces currently control the airport. About 17,000 people have so far been airlifted from the site by the US military, the White House said on Saturday.

US President Joe Biden has set a deadline of 31 August for the withdrawal of all US troops from the country. However, several nations are seeking an extension to this deadline to help safely evacuate their citizens and Afghans who served with Western agencies. It is feared they are at risk of Taliban reprisals.

“They want to evacuate 60,000 people between now and the end of this month,” EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell told AFP news agency on Saturday. “It’s mathematically impossible.”

The Taliban have blamed the US for the chaos at the airport.

“America, with all its power and facilities… has failed to bring order to the airport,” Taliban official Amir Khan Mutaqi reportedly said. “There is peace and calm all over the country, but there is chaos only at Kabul airport.”

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