US general says most of those evacuated from Afghanistan to Qatar are now in Europe, US

Afghans must overcome immigration hurdles to eventually enter the United States


Reuters September 05, 2021
A US military officer walks towards a US Air Force plane at Al Udeid airbase in Doha, Qatar, September 4, 2021. REUTERS

DOHA:

The United States has moved most of more than 57,000 people it evacuated from Afghanistan to Qatar out of the Gulf state, with some now in the United States while others are being processed in Europe, a US general said on Saturday.

Roughly 124,000 people were evacuated last month from Kabul in a massive US-led airlift of US and other foreign citizens as well as vulnerable Afghans as the Taliban took control there.

Many of those, including some with no documentation or pending US visa applications, were evacuated through military bases in the Middle East, including Al Udeid in Doha, Qatar.

There were now fewer than 1,400 evacuees on the base, with many scheduled to be flown out on Saturday while a small group needing medical care would remain until they can travel, Brigadier General Gerald Donohue told reporters.

It was not immediately clear how many exactly were now in the United States or Europe, and an unspecified number were also at a nearby base in Qatar.

At one point there were over 17,500 evacuees at Al Udeid, Donohue said, adding that nine babies were born to evacuees.

Following the scramble to evacuate vulnerable Afghans, thousands of people, some with no documentation or pending US  visa applications, others in families with mixed immigration statuses, are now waiting in "transit hubs" in third countries.

Afghans must overcome immigration hurdles to eventually enter the United States.

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