State Department estimates 1,500 Americans may still await evacuation from Afghanistan

National

In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Air Force loadmasters and pilots assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, load people being evacuated from Afghanistan onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen/U.S. Air Force via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that as many as 1,500 Americans may be awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan, a figure that suggests that part of the U.S.-led airlift from the Taliban-controlled country could be completed before President Joe Biden’s Tuesday deadline.

Blinken said the State Department estimates there were about 6,000 Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan when the airlift began Aug. 14, and that about 4,500 of them have been evacuated so far.

He said about 500 have been contacted with instructions on when and how to get to the chaotic Kabul airport to catch evacuation flights.

In addition, 1,000 or perhaps fewer are being contacted regularly to determine whether they still want to leave. Blinken said some of these may already have left the country, some may want to remain and some may not actually be American citizens.

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