UK’s Kabul evacuation ends today, says military

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Daily US Times: The head of British armed forces Gen Sir Nick Carter has said the UK’s evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan will end on Saturday.

Gen Carter said there were still some civilian flights leaving the Afghan capital for the UK, but “very few now”.

He said that it was “heartbreaking” they hadn’t been able to rescue everybody from Afghanistan, with hundreds of Afghans eligible to come to the UK still in the country.

A mass airlift has been under way at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Internations airport since the Taliban took control of the capital this month.

The Ministry of Defence said on Friday that the country had evacuated 14,543 people from Kabul since 13 August.

Sir Nick told Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’re reaching the end of the evacuation, which will take place during the course of today, and then of course it’ll be necessary to bring our troops out on the remaining aircraft.

“It’s gone as well as it could do in the circumstances… but we haven’t been able to bring everybody out and that has been heartbreaking, and there have been some very challenging judgements that have had to be made on the ground.”

More than 1,000 British soldiers were in Kabul airport helping to process evacuation flights at the airport at the height of the operation. Some of the soldiers have already left Kabul and the rest will depart over the weekend.

A 31 August deadline is in place for foreign soldiers to leave Afghanistan.

The United States has been running the airport, where a suicide bomb attack on Thursday killed as many as 170 people – including 13 US troops, two British nationals and the child of a British national.

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