The US helped four US citizens evacuate from Afghanistan by land into a neighboring country, the State Department said Monday.
“US Embassy personnel were present to greet them as they crossed out of Afghanistan,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill without specifying which country they entered. The spokesperson said that the State Department “facilitated the safe departure of four US citizens from Afghanistan via an overland route.”
The evacuation is the first the US government helped facilitate since Washington completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan. On Sunday, White House chief of staff Ron Klain said the US believes there are about 100 US citizens left in Afghanistan.
Reports say several airplanes in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif are ready to evacuate some US citizens, permanent residents, and some Afghans seeking refuge. The planes have not been cleared to leave, and US lawmakers are blaming the Taliban for the delay and want the Biden administration to take action.
An Afghan source told The Associated Press on Sunday that many of the Afghans looking to leave from Mazar-i-Sharif don’t have the proper visas or passports. For the time being, the would-be passengers have left the airport while the situation is being sorted.
In Kabul, the Taliban is working with Qatar and Turkey to get the airport fully operational so flights can depart from the city. On Saturday, the airport was opened up to accept aid and for some domestic flights.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Qatar on Monday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. He is scheduled to visit Germany next, where Afghanistan will also be on the agenda.