State Department estimates 1,500 Americans were still in Afghanistan as early as late last week

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that at least 1,500 American citizens are still awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan.

The exact number of American passport holders still in Afghanistan is difficult to determine, and it’s likely lower than the 1,500 the State Department is estimating now. Some of those Americans might not be in Afghanistan at this point. The department has also experienced cases of people who identified as American citizens who turned out not to be.

About 6,000 Americans were estimated to be in Afghanistan on Aug. 14, when the Taliban overthrew and took control of Kabul, its capital. As of Wednesday, 4,500 Americans have been evacuated from the country. The State Department reports they will continue working past Aug. 31, if necessary, to get them out of the country (Stars and Stripes).

Taliban leaders who took control of Afghanistan this month say they will not tolerate any extensions to the Tuesday deadline. However, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen tweeted that “people with legal documents” will still be able to fly out via commercial flights after Tuesday (PBS).


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