The latest on Afghanistan:
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia is sending three transport and air-to-air refueling jets with 250 military personnel to repatriate more than 130 Australians and their families from Afghanistan, officials said on Monday.
Australia is also working to evacuate an undisclosed number of refugees, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.
The support comes as the U.S. and other nations scramble to evacuate diplomats and Afghan employees and their families from Kabul. The Taliban a day earlier toppled the Western-backed government.
An Airbus A330 airliner modified for aerial refueling would support U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan later this week, Australia’s Defense Department said in a statement. Two C-17A Globemaster heavy transport aircraft would also be sent to the Middle East, the statement said.
Australia shut its Kabul embassy in May and withdrew the last of its troops from Afghanistan in June.
More than 39,000 Australian military personnel have served in Afghanistan since 2001, and 41 died there.
LISBON, Portugal - Portugal’s defense minister says his country is prepared to take in 243 Afghans, and their families who worked with Portuguese forces stationed in the country.
Defense Minister João Gomes Cravinho said NATO is coordinating the evacuation of the Afghans because Portugal doesn’t have the military capacity to do so.
He told public broadcaster RTP late Sunday he is not aware of any Portuguese citizens living in Afghanistan.
Portugal had a small detachment of fewer than 200 troops stationed at Kabul airport, as part of the NATO mission in the country. The last ones pulled out at the end of May.
STOCKHOLM — Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said Monday that 19 embassy employees had been evacuated from Kabul to Doha, Qatar and they’ll eventually flown to Sweden.
Earlier Monday, Norway and Denmark said that the bulk of the embassy staff were out of Afghanistan.
Norway Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said for the sake of the Norwegians it was done overnight.
Denmark’s Defense Minister Trine Bramsen told Danish broadcaster DR that while most Danish diplomats had been evacuated, “there are still Danes,” and others in the country still to be flown out.
Challenges include being able to land at Kabul’s chaotic airport, he said. But there’s a struggle, too, to get people to the airport, “a very difficult operation,” Bramsen was quoted as saying.
LONDON -- British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace says the government is planning to fly out 1,500 more people from Afghanistan over the next two days.
The first flight carrying British nationals has landed in the U.K., he said Monday, as countries scrambled to evacuate their diplomats, Afghan employees and their families from the chaotic airport in Kabul.
Wallace expressed hope that the government will be able to evacuate around 1,000 people a day, including Afghan nationals who have helped British citizens.
He told the BBC that work is under way to “remove any bureaucratic barriers” to make sure people who pass screenings are able to be flown to the U.K.
He said the British government sent more than 600 troops over the weekend to Kabul to help secure the airport and “to effectively process, manage and escort people onto our flights to get them out of Afghanistan.”
Wallace said one of the “biggest regrets” with the speed of the collapse of the Afghan government is that the timetable to remove Afghans and British people from the nation by Aug, 31 has had to be shortened.