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Pentagon working on evacuating US citizens, Afghan citizens out of Afghanistan

Published: Updated:

The United States will seek to evacuate as many US citizens and Afghan interpreters as possible in coming weeks, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday, saying Americans could again make their way to the Kabul airport.

In a series of US television interviews, Kirby said the US military, including thousands of incoming troops, were squarely focused on airport operations and security.

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“We remain committed to completing this drawdown in a safe and orderly way, and to doing what we can to getting as many of our American citizens out as well as many of those interpreters and translators” who assisted US forces, Kirby told MSNBC.

“We’re going to work really hard in the coming weeks to get as many of them out of the country as we can.”

Kirby told CNN’s “New Day” program that between 5,000 and 10,000 US citizens were believed to remain in the Kabul area, and that the United States could move between 5,000 and 9,000 people out of Kabul per day.

Three US military bases were prepared to accept up to 22,000 Afghan allies in the coming weeks, he added.

More than 700 people, including more than 150 US citizens, were evacuated in the past 24 hours, Kirby said separately on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”

While the airport was open and flights underway, there were some security concerns at the southern side of the airport, he added.

“Our focus militarily ... is very squarely on the airport – making sure that we can keep it up and running, that we can maintain security and stability there.”

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