TEHRAN - Iran has allowed three jets owned by Afghanistan’s largest private airline Kam Air to land in an airport in the northeastern city of Mashhad, sources say while officials confirm the landings took place due to rising insecurity in Afghanistan’s main airport in the capital Kabul.
A spokesman of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said on Thursday that a number of Kam Air planes had landed in the Iranian airports after the airline’s owner demanded the transfers because of rising tensions in and around the Kabul airport.
Muhammad Hassan Zibakhsh did not elaborate on the location of airports hosting the planes neither did he mention the exact number of the planes seeking refuge. However, he insisted that the planes carried no passengers when they landed.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has issued landing permit for those flights in line with (rules of) international interaction with neighboring countries,” Zibakhsh was quoted as saying in the local media.
That comes as aviation sources said in social media posts that two Airbus A340 jets and one Boeing 737 belonging to Kam Air had landed in Mashhad’s Hashemi Nejad Airport.
The news about planes transfer across the border came hours after an explosion hit areas just outside the airport in Kabul, leaving multiple people injured. That came after reports suggested and Italian plane taking off from the airport had come under fire although authorities said shots had been fired to disperse the crowd near the airport.
Kabul airport has been the scene of chaos since last week when foreign military forces led by the United States started an evacuation process to comply with a deal with the ruling Taliban which obliges Western forces to leave the country by August 31.
Thousands of people have crowded the gates of the airport seeking to leave Afghanistan onboard evacuation flights amid concerns that they might face prosecution by the Taliban.