US evacuates all Afghan embassy staff: report
All local Afghan staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul as well as their families have been successfully evacuated by the U.S. as of Saturday night, according to ABC News.
An internal report obtained by ABC News said about 2,800 Afghans have departed from the Kabul airport as of 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.
The State Department was unable to provide comment when reached by The Hill.
An internal State Department cable sent out last week reportedly said local Afghan embassy staffers were “deeply disheartened” by the evacuation operations. The cable relayed reports of staffers being harassed, spat on and cursed at by Taliban fighters at checkpoints.
“Our local staff and their families have suffered hardship, pain and loss because of their dedication to working with us to build a better future for all Afghans. We have a special commitment to them because of that,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill at the time.
After taking power, the Taliban vowed to show amnesty to Afghans who worked with Western-backed governments. However, reports soon arose of Taliban fighters searching houses for Western allies and threatening their families’ lives. The Taliban have denied these reports, with a spokesperson calling them “all fake news.”
The internal report obtained by ABC News also said U.S. facilities are quickly becoming overwhelmed, with Fort Lee nearing capacity and Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., struggling to process all the arrivals.
During a press briefing on Friday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price confirmed that the majority of local Afghan staffers and their families had been evacuated out of Kabul.
On Sunday, the State Department said there are roughly 250 Americans in Afghanistan who are still trying to leave the country. Some may already be at Hamid Karzai International Airport or are on their way.
Two suicide bombers attacked the airport with explosives last week, killing 13 U.S. service members and at least 160 Afghans. On Saturday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a security alert advising Americans to leave the airport due to a “specific, credible threat.”
President Biden also said on Saturday that he had been informed by officials that another attack in the next few days was “highly likely.”
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