Afghan refugee delivers baby girl aboard US evacuation aircraft after fleeing Taliban

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The mother delivered her baby girl in the cargo area of a C-17 aircraft shortly after landing at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The woman had been on the second leg of her journey out of Afghanistan after previously travelling from Kabul to a holding base in the Middle East.

The US Air Mobility Command said she began to go into labour during the flight to the US Air Force base in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Afghan national began having some “complications” and the pilot proceeded to fly the aircraft at a lower altitude to increase the air pressure in the cabin, US Air Mobility Command said.

In a tweet, the US Air Mobility Command said the move helped to save her life.

They wrote: “During a flight from an intermediate staging base in the Middle East, the mother went into labour and began having complications.

“The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilise and save the mother’s life.”

Upon landing at the air base, help arrived from the Air Force’s 86th Medical Group in order to safely deliver the child.

Both mother and baby are doing well and have been taken to a nearby hospital.

The US Air Mobility Command added: “Upon landing, airmen from the 86th MDG came aboard and delivered the child in the cargo bay of the aircraft.

“The baby girl and mother were transported to a nearby medical facility and are in good condition.”

The Ramstein Air Base has become a key transport hub for refugees fleeing the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The base has the capacity for around 5,000 people and extra facilities are under construction to accommodate 7,500.

Most US flights from Afghanistan have been directed to military bases in the Middle East, Europe and central Asia.

On Friday, US military evacuation flights from Kabul were paused for almost eight hours after officials said the base in Qatar was full.

The US has deployed around 5,800 military personnel to assist on the ground at Kabul airport.

On Sunday, the US ordered six commercial airlines to help with the rescue mission in Afghanistan.

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The Pentagon said it called up 18 commercial aircraft from United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air and others to carry people from temporary locations.

In the past 24 hours, around 3,900 people have been evacuated from Kabul on 35 coalition aircraft and another 3,900 on 23 US military flights, the White House said.

Altogether about 25,100 people have been evacuated since August 14.
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