Around 100 passengers, including Americans, have arrived in Doha on the first flight carrying foreigners out of Kabul since a US-led evacuation of Afghanistan ended on 30 August.

Doha, a major transit point for Afghan refugees, said it worked with Turkey to swiftly resume operations at Kabul's airport to allow the flow of people and aid.

AFP correspondents said they saw passengers begin to disembark at Qatar's Hamad International Airport, marking the first successful flight of its type since the chaotic airlift of more than 120,000 people concluded last month.

The Qatar Airways Boeing 777 had "around 113" passengers including Americans, Canadians, Germans and Ukrainians, with all passengers due to be received at a compound for Afghan refugees in Doha, a source with knowledge of the operation told AFP.

Sources had earlier said that as many as 200 people were aboard.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani praised the Taliban for allowing the flight.

"We managed to fly the first plane with passengers... we thank (the Taliban) for their cooperation," Sheikh Mohammed said in televised remarks.

"This is actually what we are expecting from the Taliban, to see these positive statements translated into action," said Sheikh Mohammed.

"I think this is a positive message, that we are supporting."

Qatar has acted as the central intermediary between the Taliban and the international community in recent years.

Numerous countries, including the United States, have relocated their embassies from Kabul to Doha in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover.

The flights come two days after the Taliban announced an interim government made up of mainly ethnic Pashtun men, including wanted terror suspects and Islamist hardliners, dashing international hopes for a more moderate administration.

It was widely seen as a signal that the Taliban were not seeking to broaden their base and present a more tolerant face to the world, as they had earlier suggested they would do.

All of the ministers are men, and nearly all are Pashtuns, an ethnic group that predominates in the Taliban's southern Afghan heartland but accounts for less than half the country's population.

Rahila Talash, 27, weeps as she joined protesters in Kabul after the Taliban announced their new all-male interim government

In Kabul, dozens of women took to the streets in protest and several journalists covering the demonstration said Taliban fighters detained and beat them.

The new Taliban Interior Ministry later said that to avoid disturbances and security problems, anyone holding a demonstration should apply for permission 24 hours in advance.


Read more:
Afghan journalists tell of Taliban beatings after covering protests

Hardliners in top Afghan roles as women protest again


Many critics called on the leadership to respect basic human rights and revive the economy, which faces collapse amid steep inflation, food shortages and the prospect of foreign aid being slashed as countries seek to isolate the Taliban.

The Taliban government wanted to engage with regional and Western governments and to work with international aid organisations, the Taliban minister said.

But White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said no one in the Biden administration "would suggest that the Taliban are respected and valued members of the global community".

The European Union voiced its disapproval at the appointments. It was ready to continue emergency humanitarian assistance, but longer-term development aid would depend on the Taliban upholding basic freedoms.

Saudi Arabia expressed hope the new government would help Afghanistan achieve "security and stability, rejecting violence and extremism".

Analysts said the make-up of the cabinet could hamper recognition by Western governments, which will be vital for broader economic engagement.

The new acting Cabinet includes former detainees of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay. The interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is wanted by the United States on terrorism charges and carries a reward of $10 million, while his uncle, with a bounty of $5 million, is the minister for refugees and repatriation.

US Central Intelligence Agency director William Burns discussed Afghanistan in talks in Pakistan with army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and military intelligence head Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, Pakistan's military said.

Afghanistan's ousted US-backed government for years accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban. While officially denying that, Pakistan has long seen the Taliban as its best option for minimising the influence of old rival India in Afghanistan.

The last time the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, women and girls were banned from work and education. The group carried out public executions and its religious police enforced a radical interpretation of Islamic law.

Taliban leaders have pledged to respect people's rights, including those of women, in accordance with sharia Islamic law, but have yet to provide details of the rules they intend to enforce. Afghans who have won greater freedoms over the past two decades fear losing them.

In an interview with Australia's SBS News, a senior Taliban official said women would not be allowed to play cricket or other sports because it was "not necessary" and their bodies might be exposed.

Australia's cricket board said it would scrap a planned test match against the Afghanistan men's team if the Taliban did not allow women to play.