With the Taliban’s take-over of Afghanistan, civilians are now attempting to flee the capital en masse to escape the atrocities that are expected. Among the people at Kabul airport are 26 Hungarians who are waiting for extraction, hvg.hu reports. A Hungarian NGO is also working to ensure the safety of its Mazar-i-Sharif office staff, comprised of locals.
Despite the Foreign Ministry’s previous statement that there are no Hungarian citizens currently residing in Afghanistan, recent news proves otherwise. One of the men from the group of 26 informed 24.hu over the phone that they had been carrying out “security operations,” in Afghanistan, until they left for the airport early in the morning on Saturday.
Hungarian Security Contractors for the Dutch Embassy
The man, who chose to remain anonymous, informed the news outlet that they are safe, and that they are expected to leave the country either on Tuesday or on Wednesday.
It is not, however, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry which is aiding the Hungarians in their extraction from Kabul, but the Dutch Foreign Ministry. The informant added that he was surprised to read that the Hungarian Ministry was not informed about his team’s presence in Afghanistan.
Hvg.hu reports that a Dubai-based company had 26 Hungarian contractors attending to the security of officials at the Dutch embassy in Kabul. While officials left the embassy quickly following the terrorist takeover of the capital, the 26 Hungarians remained stuck at the airport.
According to the media outlet, they will leave the country with the help of British forces carrying out the evacuation.
Hungarian NGO Ends Afghanistan Operations
A Hungarian NGO called the Hungarian Interchurch Aid (MÖS) has ended its operations Afghanistan. The organization has been providing aid in Afghanistan through its office in Mazar-i-Sharif for twenty years.
Mazar-i-Sharif was the last major city in northern Afghanistan under government control, considered
to be an “anti-Taliban bastion.” It was taken by the Taliban without a fight before their entry into Kabul.
In recent years the office has not had any Hungarian personnel, but the 10-12 locals operating it have been in constant contact with the Budapest headquarters.
According to MÖS’ communications director, Kristóf Gáncs, the operators of the organization’s Mazar-i-Sharif office are not currently in danger, and the Budapest headquarters is doing everything to ensure their safety.
Featured photo illustration by MTI/AP/Shekib Rahmani