Approximately 12,500 evacuated from Afghanistan on day of ISIS attack
Roughly 12,500 people were evacuated from Afghanistan between early Thursday morning and early Friday morning, the White House said, the day of the suicide bombings in Kabul that killed 13 U.S. service members.
Of the 12,500 evacuees, roughly 8,500 of them were on 35 U.S. military flights out of Kabul, which included 29 C-17 planes and six C-130 planes. Another 4,000 people were carried on 54 coalition flights out of Kabul.
White House officials said that since Aug. 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of about 105,000 people out of Afghanistan. Since the end of July, approximately 110,600 people have been relocated.
On Thursday from 3 a.m. EDT to 3 p.m. EDT alone, about 7,500 people were evacuated from Kabul. Roughly 5,100 people were carried on 14 U.S. military flights and 2,400 people on 39 coalition flights. The U.S. topped 100,000 people evacuated since Aug. 14 on Thursday.
The U.S. had quickly stepped up its evacuation efforts over the last 10 days with forces on the ground at the airport and more military flights evacuating American citizens and at-risk Afghans. But, the horror in Kabul on Thursday highlighted the “very, very real threats” of more attacks that “could occur at any moment,” during evacuations, U.S. Central Command head Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said on Thursday.
Biden in remarks on Thursday said the U.S. would carry out its plans to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by Aug. 31, while vowing to strike back against the group responsible for the attacks.