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The final UK troops and diplomatic staff have been airlifted from Kabul, drawing to a close Britain’s 20-year engagement in Afghanistan. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the final RAF plane took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport at 9.25pm on Saturday, as the Prime Minister said he was “lost in admiration” for the troops. Operation Pitting – where more than 1,000 military personnel, diplomats, and officials were dispatched to Afghanistan to rescue UK nationals and Afghan allies after the seizure of the country’s capital by the Taliban – airlifted more than 15,000 people to safety across just over a fortnight. It was understood to be the largest evacuation mission since the Second World War.