At least 1,000 US citizens remain in Afghanistan, with the vast majority of them looking to leave, the State Department revealed Thursday.
A State Department spokesperson said US officials were in contact with the citizens who are still in Afghanistan. “And, the vast majority – over two thirds – informed us that they were taking steps to leave,” the official said, adding: “We believe many, if not most, of these individuals are nearly or already out of the country.”
But the US official said the State Department believed “dozens more do not wish to leave Afghanistan for a range of reasons.”
As of August 14, 2021, there were around 6,000 American citizens who wanted to leave. It is believed that 4,500 of them were safely evacuated, the top US diplomat said on Wednesday.
Of the remaining 1,500, about 500 were evacuated, and another 500 were heard from.
On Thursday, at least 12 US service members were killed and 15 more injured in a suicide bombing near Kabul’s airport.
Many more Afghan civilians were killed in what the Pentagon called a “heinous” attack.
US Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie said he had no reason to believe that the Taliban allowed the attack to place.
Washington has placed the blame on ISIS. The terrorist group claimed responsibility for the airport attack.