UK flies out more than 13,000 people from Afghanistan

Boris Johnson has promised to continue the evacuation 'until the last moment'

The UK announced on Thursday that it had evacuated more than 13,000 people from Afghanistan, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government would continue its operation in Kabul after an attack at the airport.

"The military evacuation of Afghan and British nationals … has so far extracted 13,146 people out of Kabul since the mission began on Friday, August 13," Britain's Ministry of Defence said late on Thursday.

The total included embassy staff, British nationals, those eligible under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy programme, and nationals from partner nations, the ministry said.

A suicide bomb attack on Thursday, claimed by ISIS, on the crowded gates of Kabul airport killed scores of civilians and 12 US troops, throwing into mayhem the rescue of tens of thousands of Afghans desperate to flee.

After Mr Johnson chaired an emergency response meeting on the situation in Afghanistan, he said Britain's evacuations would continue "going up until the last moment".

Britain's Foreign Office issued a new advisory late on Thursday, saying there was a "high threat of terrorist attack" around the Kabul airport.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan this month from a US-backed government, sending thousands fleeing and potentially heralding a return to the militants' strict rule of two decades ago.

Updated: August 26th 2021, 11:46 PM
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