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UK says has evacuated over 7,000 people from Afghanistan

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By Reuters
UK says has evacuated over 7,000 people from Afghanistan
UK says has evacuated over 7,000 people from Afghanistan   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

– The United Kingdom said late on Monday it has evacuated over 7,000 people from Afghanistan, adding that the evacuation process will run as long as the security situation allows and that no firm date was set for the end of evacuation flights.

“7,109 individuals have been evacuated from Afghanistan under Operation PITTING, which commenced on Friday 13 August. More than 1,000 UK Armed Forces personnel deployed in Kabul”, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

This includes embassy staff, British nationals, those eligible under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy programme and a number of nationals from partner nations, the statement added.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed on Monday to work together to ensure all those eligible to leave Afghanistan were able to, including after the initial evacuation phase ended, Johnson’s office said.

The Taliban seized power earlier this month from a U.S.-backed government, sending thousands fleeing and potentially heralding a return to the militants’ austere and autocratic rule of two decades ago.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said over the weekend that Britain would have to turn to Russia and China to exercise a “moderating influence” over the Taliban, despite mistrust between the UK and those governments.