21 U.S. citizens evacuated from Afghanistan

21 U.S. citizens evacuated from Afghanistan

Taliban soldiers patrol Kabul airport.

Photo: KARIM SAHIB / AFP / Getty Images

The United States government evacuated 21 more US citizens from Afghanistanannounced the US State Department.

The evacuation occurred on Friday via charter flight and land route, and also included the departure from Afghanistan of 11 legal permanent residentsthe department said.

“Specifically, the department helped two US citizens and 11 legal residents leave Afghanistan via a land route,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters.

“We gave them orientation, we worked to facilitate their safe passage, and embassy officials greeted them once they crossed the border. What’s more, another Qatar Airways charter flight departed from Kabul with 19 US citizens on board.

Blinken added that 44 US citizens were “offered seats,” but “not all chose to travel.”

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement that the new departures from Kabul and through “overland passages to a neighboring country” show “how we are giving Americans clear and safe options. to leave Afghanistan from different places ”.

“Several Americans have taken these options; some have chosen not to, for a variety of reasons, ”continued Horne.

“That is your right. We understand that these are difficult decisions. We will continue to provide proven options for leaving. It is up to the Americans who stay if they decide to take them. “

State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted that 10 US citizens and 11 US permanent residents were evacuated Thursday, bringing the total number of Americans evacuated in the past two days to 31.

Thursday’s charter flight represented a significant development after the Taliban blocked aircraft departure during several days.

Earlier in the week, the United States evacuated four US citizens from Afghanistan using a land route to an unnamed third country, a State Department official said.

Authorities have said in recent days that about 100 US citizens they seek to leave Afghanistan.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 sparked the 20-year war in Afghanistan, known as America’s longest war, which ended on August 31 when the Pentagon announced the complete withdrawal of US troops.

The State Department announced Monday that the United States and its partners they had relocated more than 124,000 people to safety, including 6,000 US citizens.

“The United States mobilized an unprecedented global effort through our diplomatic channels to evacuate US citizens, personnel from friendly nations, and Afghans at risk from Kabul,” the State Department said in the statement Monday.

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