Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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Afghanistan: Security Situation

On 26 August 2021 a terrorist attack occurred in the vicinity of Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport with explosions taking place outside the Abbey Gate and at a nearby hotel.  

The security situation remains extremely dangerous and may become increasingly volatile at short notice. There is an ongoing and very high threat of terrorist attack throughout Afghanistan. Explosions have occurred in the vicinity of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, resulting in casualties. The threat of further attack remains and further incidents could occur across the country.

New Zealanders in Afghanistan are advised to safely shelter in place and make contingency plans to leave when it is safe to do so. Do not travel to the airport.

Given the security situation on the ground, including the terrorist attack on 26 August, the New Zealand Defence Force evacuation operation has now ended. We understand that this will be difficult news for those who were not evacuated in the short window of time that was available. The New Zealand Government will keep under review options to best assist New Zealand Citizens, Permanent Residents and their immediate families who remain in Afghanistan and let you know via SafeTravel.

As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Afghanistan, even before recent events the ability of the New Zealand Government to provide assistance to New Zealanders in Afghanistan was severely limited. You can read our full Travel Advisory for Afghanistan here.

New Zealand Citizens, Permanent Residents and their immediate families in Afghanistan should ensure they are registered on SafeTravel so we can contact you if necessary. Be aware of the potential for violence and security threats with large crowds. Take all extra precautions for your safety. Remain vigilant and be aware of your surroundings.

Travel throughout Afghanistan remains extremely dangerous. The security situation may become increasingly volatile at short notice and violent incidents could occur across the country, including at border crossing points. Some borders are closed or may close without notice. Border crossing is risky and dangerous. Open border crossings may be at risk of a terrorist attack, especially when crowds gather.

New Zealanders in Afghanistan should carefully consider the risks of attempting to leave by any route. Any attempts to travel to and across borders are taken at your own risk. You are responsible for your own safety and that of your travel companions. We understand that it is very difficult to cross any borders if you do not have a foreign passport.

New Zealanders who were previously in Afghanistan and who are in need of consular assistance should contact the 24/7 Consular emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20 or the nearest New Zealand Embassy or High Commission.



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