24,000 ‘at risk’ Afghans have entered US in evacuations
Washington, Sep 1 (EFE).- About 24,000 Afghans “at risk” have entered the United States since evacuations from Kabul airport began after the Taliban takeover, the State Department reported on Wednesday.
Spokesman Ned Price did not specify what type of visas they had been issued.
The evacuees are at the military bases prepared for their accommodation in the states of Virginia, Wisconsin and Texas, among others, while their legal status in the country is formalized.
This number is, however, only a faction of the total of 124,000 people evacuated between Aug. 14-31 by US and international coalition troops.
The Pentagon noted that approximately 20,000 other evacuees are in seven transit centers in five countries supervised by the Central Command, which controls much of the Middle East, and another 23,000 at seven bases in four European countries.
Price pointed out that 4,500 US citizens have already returned to the country as part of evacuation efforts, and acknowledged that around 100 are still in Afghanistan.
On Aug. 31, the US completed the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.
The government of President Joe Biden has been widely criticized by Republicans and veterans for leaving behind Americans in the South Asian country and for its management of the withdrawal, which saw chaos at Kabul airport.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday that he is aware that there have been difficult days for many, referring to the death of 13 soldiers last Thursday in an attack by the ISIS-K terrorist group against the capital’s airport, which also left dozens of Afghan casualties. EFE