- Several European countries, Canada, and New Zealand finished their evacuations from Afghanistan.
- American forces are scrambling to finish the US evacuation before the August 31 deadline.
- At least 95 Afghans and 13 US troops were killed in blasts near Kabul airport on Thursday.
Spain, New Zealand, and Australia are the latest countries to finish their evacuation mission from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, CNN reported Friday.
General Wayne Eyre, Canada’s acting chief of defense staff, said allied countries have to leave before the US can finish its evacuations, the report said, and that military flights evacuated around 3,700 people.
“I have received emails from people that I worked with during my tours in Afghanistan who are desperate to get out or get their families out,” he told the AP. “Their pleas and the photos of the families in terrible situations that accompany many of them are heart wrenching. They tear at our souls.”
The Czech Republic ended its evacuation mission last week.
“We cannot risk the lives of our diplomats and of our soldiers any longer,” Marcin Przydacz, a Polish deputy foreign minister, told the AP.
Some countries are still racing against the clock to wrap up their evacuation efforts.
Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said its evacuation mission will end on Friday, according to CNN.
France will likely end its evacuation ahead of the US, according to a government official quoted in the AP report.
“Due to extreme tension on the ground … and the scheduled departure of American forces, these evacuations are a true race against time,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal told the AP.
The US and UK are still scrambling to evacuate citizens and allies as the August 31 deadline to leave the country looms, and the threats to people outside the airport increase. UK defense secretary Ben Wallace said they would likely finish on Friday, according to CNN.
Explosions outside the Kabul airport on Thursday killed at least 13 US service members and nearly 100 Afghans. The explosion occurred outside Abbey Gate, where many people have crowded daily trying to get into the airport to get out of Afghanistan.