Weeks after US withdrew from Afghanistan, a Qatar Airways flight evacuated American citizens from Kabul
- 28 US citizens left Afghanistan on a Qatar Airways chartered flight on Friday.
- 7 permanent residents were also evacuated, the State Department said.
- Some Americans remained in Afghanistan after the US withdrew at the end of last month.
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Weeks after the US withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, a Qatar Airways charter flight departed Kabul with 28 US citizens and seven permanent residents on Friday, the State Department said.
"We are grateful to Qatari authorities, who continue to coordinate these flights with us. We will continue to help U.S. citizens and Afghans affiliated with the U.S. government to depart Afghanistan," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
Price also thanked the Taliban for their cooperation.
The US and allies stopped their evacuation efforts when they withdrew from the country at the end of last month.
The withdrawal came after the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15 and threatened "consequences" if the US did not leave the country by the August 31 deadline. More than 120,000 people had been evacuated from the country by the time the last US plane left Kabul.
However, Biden was criticized for leaving some American citizens and Afghans behind.
An anonymous Afghan official told the Associated Press that in the last week over 300 foreign nationals, as well as US green card holders and Afghans with special visas, left the country.
The first Qatar Airways flight to get people out of the country with the support of the Taliban took off on September 9, the AP reported. It had 200 people on board.
The Afghan official added that more flights are expected.
"Grateful that more Americans were able to leave today on a Qatar Airways flight. We welcome this development," U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said in a tweet.
Khalilzad added that there's no deadline to get Americans out of Afghanistan, but they'll continue to work to get those who want to leave out when they choose to.
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