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Afghanistan evacuation flights resume day after deadly Kabul airport attack


Evacuation flights out of Afghanistan resumed Friday, less than a day after two bombings left at least 13 U.S. service members and more than 95 Afghans dead at the Kabul airport. 

The U.S. military is rushing to get thousands of Americans and Afghans who helped the U.S. during the war out before next Tuesday’s deadline.  

President Biden has eschewed pressure to extend the deadline and the Taliban, which took control of the country as the U.S. withdrew forces, has warned of unspecified consequences if all service members aren’t out on time. The president has also cited the threat of more terrorist attacks.  

KABUL EVACUATIONS: PILOTS RECOUNT CHAOTIC EXPERIENCES GETTING PEOPLE OUT OF AFGHANISTAN

The U.S. has said that more attacks could come before Tuesday. 

A recently evacuated young Afghan boy carries a child at the Ramstein U.S. Air Base, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. The largest American military community overseas housed thousands of Afghan evacuees in an increasingly crowded tent city. (Associated Press)

Kabul residents said several flights took off Friday morning, while footage shared by a local Tolo TV correspondent showed the anxious crowd outside the airport as large as ever.

President Joe Biden pauses as he listens to a question about the bombings at the Kabul airport that killed at least 12 U.S. service members, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, in Washington. (Associated Press)

President Joe Biden pauses as he listens to a question about the bombings at the Kabul airport that killed at least 12 U.S. service members, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, in Washington. (Associated Press)

Biden in a Thursday press conference held after the deadly attack said, “our mission will go on.” 

“We will rescue the Americans; we will get our Afghan allies out,” he added while promising to “hunt down” the terrorists behind the attack. An Islamic State affiliate has claimed responsibility. 

By Thursday, the U.S. said more than 100,000 people had been evacuated already but at least 1,000 Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans are still waiting to get out of the country. 

A victim receives medical assistance in a hospital after he was wounded in the deadly attacks outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (Associated Press)

A victim receives medical assistance in a hospital after he was wounded in the deadly attacks outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (Associated Press)

Many American allies, however, are close to or have already ceased their flights out of the country. Canada, Belgium and Spain have all completed their evacuation efforts and Britain and France said they would stop flights within the next few hours. 

Untold thousands of Afghans, especially ones who had worked with the U.S. and other Western countries, are now in hiding from the Taliban, fearing retaliation despite the group’s offer of full amnesty. The militant group has claimed it has become more moderate since its harsh rule from 1996 to 2001, when it largely confined women to their homes, banned television and music and held public executions. 

Recent reports of going door to door to find who worked for Americans and forcing girls to stay home from school contradict those promises. 

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The Trump administration in February 2020 struck an agreement with the Taliban that called for it to halt attacks on Americans in exchange for the removal of all U.S. troops and contractors by May; Biden announced in April he would have them out by September.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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