NATO is ‘working 24/7’ to get as many people out of Afghanistan as possible

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Afghan people sit as they wait to leave the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan’s 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city’s airport trying to flee the group’s feared headline brand of Islamist rule.

The main focus in Afghanistan now is to evacuate people from the country, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, as reports of violence and repression continue to emerge despite promises of peace from the Taliban.

We are working 24/7 to get as many people out as possible,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Friday.

U.S. President Joe Biden said more than 18,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since the end of July, and 5,700 in the last 24 hours as of Friday afternoon in the U.S. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said most of the evacuees are Afghan nationals.

At NATO’s foreign minister meeting on Friday, many allies offered to receive refugees on a temporary basis or resettle some Afghans more permanently, Stoltenberg said. The countries include Poland, Hungary, Canada, and “many others,” he said.

Afghanistan fell under Taliban control after the Islamist militant group seized the capital of Kabul earlier in August. The Taliban started making rapid battlefield advances in the country since the U.S. announced in April that NATO and American troops would withdraw from Afghanistan by Sept. 11. Now, nearly the whole nation is now under the insurgents’ control.

Since then, people have been scrambling to leave the country.

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