First flight evacuating UK nationals leaves Sudan

The first flight evacuating UK nationals has left Sudan, Downing Street says, with two more planned overnight

It was gathered that the first evacuation flight will arrive in Larnaca, Cyprus at 18:30 BST , with two more coming in overnight.

Around 250 people are expected to be on board those three flights, and they’re due to be flown back to the UK from Cyprus on charter planes.

It comes as the Foreign Office urged British nationals in the country to head to an airfield north of Khartoum

It marks a change of advice from this morning when the Foreign Office told people not to head to the airbase until they were contacted

It follows criticism from Brits stuck in Sudan who say they feel abandoned while other foreign nationals and embassy staff were flown out

So far the European Union EU has airlifted more than 1,000 of its citizens out, mainly on French and German rescue missions

Many African countries have also got citizens out, but Kenyan students stuck in Khartoum tell the BBC they are desperate for help

Rival military factions have been fighting for 10 days. A shaky ceasefire appears to be holding, although there have been reports of new gunfire and shelling

Separately, the World Health Organization is warning of a “high risk of biological hazard” after a laboratory storing pathogens was seized

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