Evacuation of US troops priority, says Pentagon

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Washington

The Pentagon on Wednesday said that the United States military would continue the process to evacuate people from Kabul airport until the August 31 deadline if needed, but the removal of the US troops and military equipment will be on their priority on the last couple of days.

There are about 5,400 troops at the airport, a number President Joe Biden says is set to go down to zero by the end of the month, depending on cooperation from the Taliban.

Army Major General William Taylor, with the US military Joint Staff, told a news briefing more than 10,000 people were at Kabul airport awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan.

He said that in the previous 24 hours, 90 US military and other international flights had evacuated 19,000 more people, bringing the total evacuation number so far to about 88,000. He said one plane had departed every 39 minutes.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that a total of 4,400 American nationals had so far been evacuated from Kabul, but that he did not know how many were still there. Over the weekend, the number stood at about 2,500.—Agencies

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