Britain enters final stage of evacuation in Afghanistan and closes processing site


British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said the UK’s evacuation mission at Kabul Airport was the last few hours after the closure of a major treatment plant on Friday morning.

“We’re looking for ways to handle the people we brought in, about 1,000 people currently on the airfield, and keep finding a few in the crowd as much as possible, but overall the main process. Is now closed and there is a matter of time, “he told Sky News.

Ben Wallace
Defense Minister Ben Wallace will arrive at Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting in London on December 8, 2020. (Leon Neil / Getty Images)

“It’s a shame that not everyone was able to evacuate during this process,” he said.

The Pentagon said Thursday evening that Britain had evacuated 13,146 people from Afghanistan.

However, about 800 to 1,100 Afghans who were eligible to leave the country in cooperation with Britain could not get through it, Wallace told LBC Radio.

Both the Baron Hotel’s processing center and the Abbey Gate to Kabul Airport were closed, he told Sky.

Both sites were hit by a bomb explosion on Thursday in an attack alleged by an ISIS terrorist group. And more than 90 people were killed, including 13 US troops.

But Wallace said the attack forced Britain to finish its mission earlier than planned.

“We closed the Baron Hotel almost on schedule. The explosion was horrifying, but it didn’t accelerate our departure,” he said.

But he said the threat of terrorism would be even greater at the airport as NATO’s final departure date approaches.

“Obviously, the threat will grow as we get closer to where we’re leaving,” he told Sky News. “When we leave, the story will always want to bet the claim that certain groups like ISIS have kicked them out of the United States or the United Kingdom.”

Wallace said Britain would continue to support qualified Afghans who could not evacuate the airport.

“We make sure that we have enhanced features in the visa processing center, or in fact in the region and its surrounding countries and the surrounding countries, and those who can go to that third country and we To process. “

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday he hopes the Taliban will allow those who want to leave Afghanistan to do so.

“We urge the new authorities in Afghanistan to take advantage of all the influence we can bring, politically, economically and diplomatically, as mentioned in the G7. “

PA, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan