Kabul: British evacuation improving, says armed forces minister

British evacuation improving, says armed forces minister
British ambassador to Afghanistan Laurie Bristow (left) speaking to a member of the UK armed forces at Kabul airport. Source: FCDO
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Daily US Times: Efforts to evacuate British citizens and eligible Afghan allies from the Afghan capital Kabul are improving, with more than 1,700 people airlifted out in the past 24 hours, the British armed forces minister James Heappey has said.

The UK government said on Sunday that seven Afghan civilians had died in the chaotic crowds outside the airport.

Mr Heappey said the Taliban were now marshalling people into queues, speeding up the process.

On Sunday morning, 731 people had been processed and were set to fly.

The British minister urged more people to come forward if they had been told to do so.

He said, until now, a lot of people had been put off going to Baron Hotel in Kabul, where many Britons have been told to travel for processing, because of reports of chaotic scenes and violence.

“Today the queue is flowing better,” Mr Heappey said, adding that the hardline Islamist militia group was marshalling people into separate US and UK evacuation queues, which was “making a big difference”.

He reiterated previous comments from ministers that the United Kingdom couldn’t say with confidence it would get all Britons out but, he said, more capacity was becoming available with each day and other nations were joining the UK effort.

The United States has a planned deadline of 31 August for withdrawal from Afghanistan – but President Joe Biden has said soldiers may stay past this date to help with evacuations.

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