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About 100 Americans still in Afghanistan, top White House official says

Airport workers stand in a queue at a check point before entering the Kabul International Airport in Kabul on Sept 4, 2021. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

About 100 Americans are still in Afghanistan, days after the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the war-torn country, the White House said Sunday.

The U.S. is “in touch with all of them who we’ve identified on a regular basis,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” but he was vague about plans to get U.S. citizens out of the Taliban-controlled nation.

The White House is hoping that in coming days, Qataris will resume air service out of Kabul, Klain said.

“If they do, we’re obviously going to look to see if Americans can be part of those flights,” he said.

Kabul’s airport shut down with the exit of U.S. forces on Monday, although regional flights resumed on Saturday, according to Reuters.

The U.S. also is in communication with Afghan recipients of special immigrant visas, Klain said.

Last week, the State Department acknowledged that the “majority” of such visa holders — Afghans who worked for the U.S. government — remained stuck in their home country.

They reportedly include an Afghan interpreter who helped rescue President Joe Biden during a snowstorm when he was visiting the country as a senator in 2008 and his helicopter was forced to land in a remote valley.

“We are going to try to get every person out,” Klain said when asked to comment on the report.


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