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‘Evacuation plane hijacked, taken to Iran’; Countries deny report

In a version of events denied by his own ministry, Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday that one of the country’s jets had been hijacked from Kabul airport. Yenin told independent radio station Hromadske that Ukrainian aircraft had been hijacked from Kabul and flown to Iran instead of evacuating Ukrainians. Yenin confirmed to AFP that the incident occurred on August 15 and that the plane returned home.

However, the foreign ministry denied the comments. Ukrainian planes have not been hijacked from Kabul or elsewhere, Oleg Nikolenko told AFP, saying that Yenin’s words ‘don’t correspond to reality’. Three planes- two civilian and one military, that Kiev chartered to evacuate its citizens from Afghanistan ‘safely returned to Ukraine’ carrying a total of 256 passengers.

According to AFP, Kiev had been in negotiations to include the aircraft mentioned by Yenin, a civil Ukrainian plane- in its evacuation operations but was unable to do so after the plane departed without warning last week. The charter departed without picking anyone up, according to the source. The source added, without specifying the plane’s destination or departure date, ‘Nobody hijacked it’.

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Ukraine has organized three evacuation flights from Kabul so far. On August 15, 21 and 23, they carried both Ukrainians and Afghans, including Sahraa Karimi, one of Afghanistan’s most prominent female filmmakers.

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