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Australian Government Slammed For 'Only' Rescuing 26 People From Afghanistan

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Australian Government Slammed For 'Only' Rescuing 26 People From Afghanistan

Australia has rescued 26 people from Afghanistan after carrying out its first mission to help people escape the Taliban.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the more than two dozen people loaded onto the plane consisted of Australian citizens, Afghan visa holders, and a foreign official.

The Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules can fit up to 128 people.

The plane left Kabul early yesterday (August 18) and has since landed in the Unite Arab Emirates.

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Mr Morrison said the small number of people rescued was because officials were 'operating in a very dangerous environment'.

He told reporters: "This is not a simple process. It's very difficult for any Australian to imagine the sense of chaos and uncertainty that is existing across this country, the breakdown in formal communications, the ability to reach people."

He's promised there will be more fuller rescue missions conducted 'for as long as we can continue to operate the flights to get people out'.

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"This will be done in as orderly fashion as is possible in the circumstances," he said. "We need to be very clear who is getting on our planes, who is going to our base and going to come here and live in Australia."

However, there has been a strong outcry on social media over the figure, with 'only 26' trending on Twitter in Australia.

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It's in stark contrast the the US military plane that left earlier this week with a whopping 640 people on board, which was five times its normal passenger limit.

The C-17 quickly filled with people desperate to escape the Taliban and pilots eventually left Kabul with the aircraft packed to the brim.

People had to cling onto cargo slings and sit on the floor as the plane flew to Qatar.

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Scott Morrison confirmed they would not be able to rescue all the interpreters and staff who helped Australia during its 20-year presence in Afghanistan.

"I want you to know that we will continue to do everything we can for those who have stood with us, as we have to this day," he said.

"But I want to talk openly to veterans that despite our best efforts, I know that support won't reach all that it should."

Featured Image Credit: Defence

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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