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France vows Afghanistan evacuation to last ‘as long as possible’

This photo provided on August 24, 2021, by the French Army shows a French soldier at Kabul airport, Afghanistan. (Etat-Major des Armees via AP)
This photo provided on August 24, 2021, by the French Army shows a French soldier at Kabul airport, Afghanistan. (Etat-Major des Armees via AP)

PARIS — A French government spokesperson says France will continue its evacuation operation in Kabul “as long as possible” ahead of American August 31 withdrawal date.

Gabriel Attal doesn’t provide a date for the end of the French operation, saying only “we will likely need to anticipate a few hours, maybe a few days ahead” of the American forces’ departure from Kabul airport.

“We will continue as long as possible,” he says. “Due to extreme tension on the ground… and the scheduled departure of American forces, these evacuations are a true race against time.”

Attal declines to elaborate on how many people are still waiting for evacuation by France in Kabul.

A 10th flight carrying evacuees landed in Paris today, with 21 French and 220 Afghan nationals, including 130 children, onboard, according to the French Office of Immigration and Integration.

In total, at least 1,720 Afghans and a hundred French people have been evacuated by France since the beginning of the operation last week.

French President Emmanuel Macron promised France would evacuate Afghans who worked for the country as well as activists and others under threat.

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