Fewer than 250 Americans remain to evacuate from Afghanistan: official

Passengers being boarded on to a US Air Force C-17 at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul (AFP/Donald R. ALLEN)

The United States believes there are fewer than 250 Americans still in Afghanistan who are seeking to leave, a senior US official said Monday on the eve of the deadline for a full US troop withdrawal from the country.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that fewer than 300 Americans remained in Afghanistan who were seeking to be evacuated.

The US official said Monday that the number is believed to be "below 250."

"We believe there's still a small number who remain, and we're trying to determine exactly how many," said the official, who requested anonymity.

"Of those who self-identified as Americans in Afghanistan considering leaving the country since August 14, we thus far have received confirmation that about 6,000 have been evacuated, or otherwise departed, meaning they traveled commercially," the official said.

President Joe Biden has set a deadline of August 31 for a full US military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Pentagon said Monday that more than 122,000 people, including 5,400 Americans, have been evacuated since July.

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