US ramping up Kabul evacuation effort, Biden says

US ramping up Kabul evacuation effort, says Biden
Thousands of Afghans are trying to fly out of Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. Source: US MARINE CORPS/REUTERS
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Daily US Times: President Joe Biden says the US is ramping up Kabul evacuation efforts, with US troops expanding the perimeter around the site.

Thousands of Afghans have been lining at the gates in desperate attempts to flee the country after Kabul fell for Taliban.

Mr Biden said on Sunday that the US troops had flown nearly 28,000 people out of the Kabul airport in the past week.

He faces pressure from ally contries to extend a deadline for evacuations beyond 31 August.

President Biden said discussions were taking place with leaders of other countries about pushing back the 31 August deadline, but that “our hope is we will not have to”.

In a press conference at the White House, Mr Biden said: “There is no way to evacuate this many people without pain and the heart-breaking images you see.”

He added: “We have made changes, including extending the access area around the airport – the safe zone. We have a long way to go and a lot can still go wrong.”

The Pentagon said in an earlier statement that 18 commercial planes would be used to speed up the evacuation process to third countries from safe sites outside Afghanistan.

At least 20 people have died in the Kabul airport as thousands queue outside, a Nato official told Reuters, amid reports that some were being crushed to death.

The scene on Sunday in the airport was reportedly calmer than in previous days.

James Heappey, UK Armed Forces Minister, said the Taliban were co-operating and marshalling people into queues at Hamid Karzai International Airport, making the process faster for those hoping to leave.

You may read: Kabul: British evacuation improving, says armed forces minister