(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Chaos has enveloped Kabul after Afghanistan’s government’s collapsed and the Taliban seized control, all but ending America’s 20-year campaign as it began: under Taliban rule.
The U.S. has evacuated approximately 9,000 people since Aug. 14, according to a White House official, with 3,000 people evacuated Thursday and double that number slated to be flown out Friday. Pentagon officials have said their focus remains on maintaining the airport perimeter and increasing the number of evacuees out of Kabul.
President Joe Biden returned to Washington from Camp David on Wednesday and sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos for an exclusive one-on-one interview at the White House, the president’s first interview since the withdrawal from Afghanistan. He addressed the nation on evacuation efforts Friday.
Here are the latest developments. All times Eastern:
Aug 21, 8:55 am
US embassy tells citizens to avoid Kabul airport
The U.S. embassy in Afghanistan has advised American citizens to avoid traveling to Kabul airport due to “potential security threats.”
U.S. nationals should “avoid the gates to the airport at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so,” a notice posted on the embassy website says.
It adds: “U.S. citizens requesting assistance in departing the country who have Repatriation Assistance Request for each traveler in their group should do so as soon as possible. Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan who are awaiting immigrant visas should also complete this form if they wish to depart.”
Previous advice issued two days ago said the U.S. government “cannot ensure safe passage” but said that citizens “should consider travelling to Hamid Karzai International Airport when you judge it is safe to do so”.
-ABC News’ Guy Davies
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