WORLD UK wraps up evacuations from Afghanistan, leaving hundreds behind


UK wraps up evacuations from Afghanistan, leaving hundreds behind


21:16, August 28, 2021

A member of UK Armed Forces talking to a group of people at Kabul airport on August 22 before they were evacuated. (Photo: AFP)

The UK is wrapping up its evacuations from Afghanistan after flying out over 13,000 people in 14 days but admitted that it will be leaving several hundred people behind.

According to the UK's defense minister Ben Wallace, between 800 and 1,100 Afghans entitled to resettlement in the country would not be able to fly out.

He added that many of them did not travel to Kabul's airport because they deemed the journey too dangerous.

"People like me ... we are forever receiving messages and texts from our Afghan friends that are very distressing. We're living this in the most painful way," Wallace said.

The UK's armed forces chief General Nick Carter said that the people in Afghanistan after Saturday, when the army will wrap up its evacuations, will still be welcome to resettle in the UK after they leave Afghanistan.

And Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK would "shift heaven and earth" to help those left behind.

Other countries have also halted evacuations ahead of the U.S.' August 31 deadline, including Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, Denmark and Spain.

Several of those countries have also reported that people eligible for evacuation are still in Afghanistan.

For example, Germany previously identified 10,000 people eligible for evacuation but only flew out 5,347 people by the end of their evacuation efforts.

It also reported that around 300 German citizens are still in Afghanistan.

UK Armed Forces on August 22 helping with the evacuation efforts to remove British nationals and eligible Afghan citizens from Kabul airport. (Photo: AFP)

The U.S. is still evacuating people from Kabul and has reported that more than 5,000 people are in the city's airport waiting to fly out. Since August 14, it has evacuated around 109,000 people, according to the U.S. government.

U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan

The U.S. has also been forced into closer cooperation with the Taliban to maintain security after the Islamic State attacked the airport on Thursday, killing over 100 people.

In retaliation for the attack, the U.S. conducted a drone strike in eastern Afghanistan, in Nangarhar province, against a "planner" for the group.

"Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties," said a statement by the U.S. military.

But according to Reuters, a community elder named Malik Adib in Nangarhar's capital Jalalabad said an airstrike killed three people around midnight on Friday, and four more were wounded.

"Women and children are among the victims," he said. Though, it is not clear if this airstrike was caused by a U.S. drone.

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