Afghan woman gives birth on US military evacuation flight

22 August 2021, 16:20 | Updated: 22 August 2021, 17:01

The woman began experiencing "complications" on the flight and later gave birth while aboard the aircraft
The woman began experiencing "complications" on the flight and later gave birth while aboard the aircraft. Picture: Air Mobility Command

By Daisy Stephens

An Afghan woman has given birth on board an evacuation flight to Germany, the US military said.

The flight was travelling from the Middle East to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, a transit post for people being evacuated from Afghanistan.

The US military's Air Mobility Command tweeted that the mother began experiencing complications during the flight on Saturday.

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It said: "The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilise and save the mother's life."

On arrival at Ramstein, US medical personnel boarded the plane and delivered the baby in the aircraft's cargo bay.

"The baby girl and mother were transported to a nearby medical facility and are in good condition," the military said.

US forces are currently in control at the international airport in Kabul, where thousands of Afghans have gathered in recent days in an attempt to flee the country.

So far seven people are confirmed to have died in the crowds, amid reports of desperate parents passing their children over the airport's perimeter to Western troops in the hope they will get a better future.

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"Our sincere thoughts are with the families of the seven Afghan civilians who have sadly died in crowds in Kabul," said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

"Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible."

British armed forces have safely evacuated more than 5,000 people from Afghanistan since August 13.

Lt Col Justin Baker, a British officer working in Kabul, spoke of his pride at how UK troops have dealt with the unprecedented and complex situation in the Afghan capital.

"It is the operating environment here which is so complex that it is making the operating environment so challenging, I think this is something that nobody has experienced before," said Lt Col Baker.

"We are facing challenges that nobody has experienced before but I have been really impressed by how agile and adaptable that the whole force has been and how well they have coped with those challenges."

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Boris Johnson confirmed on Sunday that he would convene the G7 leaders on Tuesday for "urgent talks" about the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

"It is vital that the international community works together to ensure safe evacuations, prevent a humanitarian crisis and support the Afghan people to secure the gains of the last 20 years," he said.