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The United States evacuated 1,200 people from Afghanistan in the last 24 hours, confirming a slowdown from previous days with one day to go before the end of the mission in the Central Asian country, a senior White House official said Monday.
The figure of 1,200 evacuees is much lower than the 2,900 on Sunday and 6,800 on Saturday.
Specifically, according to the official, who requested anonymity, 26 aircraft evacuated 1,200 people and two coalition aircraft flew another 50 out of Afghanistan.
The slower pace of evacuation coincides with the Pentagon’s announcement Saturday that the final phase of the withdrawal had begun with the departure of military equipment and the start of the evacuation of some of the 5,000 U.S. troops remaining at Kabul airport.
The White House warned on Friday that the start of this new phase would mean a reduction in evacuations.
The new evacuations also come at a time when the United States is on high alert for the possibility of a repeat of Thursday’s attack on the Kabul airport.
On that day, at least one Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber detonated an explosive charge among the crowd waiting to board one of the evacuation flights to flee the country, leaving at least 170 dead, in addition to dozens wounded.
The Pentagon also reported that 13 soldiers were killed and 18 wounded.
According to the White House, Washington has organized the evacuation from Afghanistan of more than 116,000 people since August 14, when it accelerated the exit efforts in the face of the Taliban advance.
A day later, the insurgent group took control of Kabul after its fighters entered the capital without encountering resistance, with almost all provinces under its control, and following the flight of the then Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani.