250 Americans still trying to leave Afghanistan: State Department

The State Department said on Sunday that around 250 Americans are still trying to leave Afghanistan with just days left before a Tuesday deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the nation.

A department spokesperson said in a statement that some of those Americans may be traveling to Hamid Karzai International Airport or could already be there now.

Since Aug. 14, almost 5,550 Americans and possibly more have been safely evacuated out of Afghanistan, the spokesperson added, including around 50 within the last day. About 280 self-identifying Americans have been in contact with the State Department who have either decided against leaving the country or remain undecided, the spokesperson noted.

The Pentagon confirmed on Saturday that the U.S. had begun withdrawing the last remaining forces out of the Kabul airport. 

The Taliban have said they will allow Afghans with proper travel authorization to leave the country past that deadline, and 98 countries said on Sunday that the insurgent group had assured them people with proper documentation who wanted to leave the country would be able to do so.

“We will continue issuing travel documentation to designated Afghans, and we have the clear expectation of and commitment from the Taliban that they can travel to our respective countries,” the countries added.

However, many are skeptical that the Taliban can be trusted to make good on their assurances given their history.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier this month told lawmakers that he “was aware” that some Americans and Afghans trying to get to the Kabul airport had “been harassed or even beaten by the Taliban.”

Tags Afghanistan evacuations Lloyd Austin Lloyd Austin State Department Taliban

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