An Afghan woman who is fleeing the situation in her own country has given birth on the evacuation flight she caught to the UK.
Refugee Soman Noori was on the plane to Birmingham from Dubai – having called in Kabul – when she went into labour in airspace over Kuwait, Turkish Airlines said.
The 26-year-old woman had to make do with the Turkish Airlines cabin crew to deliver the baby girl at 30,000 feet, as there was no doctor on board the flight, reports PA news agency.
The baby has been named Havva by her mother and father, 30-year-old husband Taj Moh Hammat.
Her name translates to Eve in English, and she is the couple’s third child.
Turkish Airlines said in a statement that both mother and baby were healthy, and although the flight had landed in Kuwait as a precaution, it then carried on its route to Birmingham and landed at 11.45am.
Photographs and video footage showed Turkish Airlines crew cradling the baby and handing her to her mother.
The last dedicated flight purely for the evacuation effort from Afghanistan has left Kabul, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
Husband Taj Moh Hammat, and Soman Noori’s family
(Image: PA Media)
Further flights leaving from the airport would be able to carry evacuees but would also be transporting UK diplomatic staff and military personnel as the operation winds down.
It comes as British ambassador to Afghanistan Sir Laurie Bristow said it was “time to close this phase” of the evacuation effort.
In a video posted on Twitter, Sir Laurie – who has remained in Afghanistan processing those who needed to leave the country – said: “The team here have been working until the very last moment to evacuate British nationals, Afghans and others at risk.
“Since the 13th of August, we’ve brought nearly 15,000 people to safety, and about 1,000 military, diplomatic, civilian personnel have worked on Operation Pitting in Kabul, many, many more elsewhere.
“Thursday’s terrorist attack was a reminder of the difficult and dangerous conditions in which Operation Pitting has been done. And sadly I attended here yesterday the ceremony to pay our respects to the 13 US soldiers who died.
“It’s time to close this phase of the operation now, but we haven’t forgotten the people who still need to leave. We’ll continue to do everything we can to help them. Nor have we forgotten the brave, decent people of Afghanistan. They deserve to live in peace and security.”