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First batch of evacuees from Sudan arrive in Kenya

The dozens of evacuees disembarked from a Kenya Air Force plane, and were received by Defence Secretary Aden Duale   -  
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A plane carrying the first batch of Kenyan evacuees from Sudan landed at the airport in Nairobi on Monday night.

The dozens of evacuees disembarked from a Kenya Air Force plane, and were received by Defence Secretary Aden Duale.

More evacuations are underway, with the foreign ministry on Monday stating that three evacuation programs were active.

As fighting continues in Sudan, a stream of European, Mideast, African and Asian military aircraft flew into Khartoum all day Sunday and Monday to extract foreign nationals who were moving past combatants at the city's tense front lines.

A flight carrying 39 evacuees from chaos-torn Sudan lands in Nairobi as part of evacuation efforts. "The first successful evacuation flight that has delivered 39 evacuees of which 19 are Kenyans, 19 of Somalian nationality and one evacuee is from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Kenya's Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Defence Aden Duale told reporters.

"There was a lot of shooting and a lot of bombing going for almost 24 hours," one evacuee tells AFP after disembarking the aircraft. 

Scramble to evacuate

Saudi Arabia led the first reported successful evacuations on Saturday. A boat from Sudan carrying nearly 200 people from 14 countries reached the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah late Monday, the Saudi foreign ministry said.

So far, 356 people have been evacuated to the kingdom from Sudan -- 101 Saudis and 255 foreigners from more than 20 countries, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Egypt's military last week evacuated 177 soldiers, and on Sunday the foreign ministry said 436 citizens had left by land. More than 10,000 Egyptians are thought to live in Sudan.

Over 200 Moroccans were taken to Port Sudan in convoys organised by their embassy, Rabat said Monday, adding that they would be flown home from there.

Both Algeria and Tunisia have announced rescue operations.

Jordan -- whose military airports have been used for some rescue flights -- said Saturday it had begun the evacuation of around 300 citizens with Saudi and UAE cooperation, while 52 Lebanese and 105 Libyans had also left on a Saudi naval vessel.

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