Over 60,000 Interpreters, US Visa Applicants Remain in Afghanistan, Reports Say
© AP Photo / Rafiq MaqboolАфганский уличный парикмахер в Кабуле, 2007 год
© AP Photo / Rafiq Maqbool
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - As many as 62,000 interpreters and other Afghans who applied for the American visa including those who cooperated with the US military, remain in Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a State Department official.
Around 33,000 Afghans and their family members have already gone through necessary vetting procedures and can be evacuated immediately, according to the newspaper. Another 29,000 people of those willing to leave are in early stages of the application process, which is designed to check the employment history and their connections or otherwise to terrorist organizations, the Wall Street Journal said.
The United States is currently operating several flights a week, depending on the weather and other conditions at the Kabul airport, which is still operating partially.
This is the first time that the State Department reveals the exact number of the Afghans who are eligible to be evacuated since August. The Afghans are looking forward to flying away from Afghanistan over worsening economic situation in Afghanistan, the newspaper said.
Since the Taliban* returned to power in Afghanistan this past August, many citizens have attempted to leave the country for fear of reprisals from the militants. Many countries also operated flights to evacuate their citizens, diplomatic missions personnel, and associated Afghans out of the country.
*Organization is under UN sanctions over terrorist activities