Four Americans Left Afghanistan by Land With U.S. Assisting Move
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. helped four American citizens flee Afghanistan by land to an unspecified country, a senior State Department official said.
The four Americans were greeted by U.S. diplomats at the border after leaving Afghanistan. It was the first time the State Department has facilitated such a move, though U.S. personnel weren’t involved inside Afghanistan, according to the official.
The evacuations mark the first steps in a new approach to ensuring the safety of American citizens in Afghanistan after the U.S.’s two-decade military presence in the country ended on Aug. 31. The strategy involves coordination with the U.S.’s long-time enemy, the Taliban, in avoiding terrorist attacks and ensuring safe passage for Americans. The Taliban were aware of this move and didn’t impede it, said the official, who asked not to be identified given the delicate security around the move.
The Biden administration has drawn bipartisan criticism in Congress for leaving behind U.S. citizens and Afghan allies during its rushed exit from the war-torn nation.
U.S. officials have said about 100 Americans remain in Afghanistan but that some want to stay for family or other reasons. But they acknowledge there are also thousands of Afghans who worked as translators or otherwise assisted the U.S. and fear retribution by the Taliban if they aren’t able to leave.
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