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US to prioritize troop evacuation in last two days of Kabul operation

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The US military will continue its evacuation effort from Kabul airport until the Aug. 31 deadline if needed, but on the last couple of days it will prioritize the removal of US troops and military equipment, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

Army Major General William Taylor, with the US military’s Joint Staff, told a news briefing more that 10,000 people were currently at Kabul airport waiting to be evacuated from Afghanistan.

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He said that in the past 24 hours, 90 US military and other international flights had evacuated 19,000 more people, bringing the total evacuation number so far to about 88,000. He said one plane had departed every 39 minutes.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said there were currently US 5,400 troops at Kabul airport.

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