Boris Johnson: Time running out to finish Kabul airport airlift

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Published on 26 Aug 2021, 11:49
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The time remaining to airlift people out of Kabul is now “quite short”, Boris Johnson has said, as the operation comes under additional pressure from the threat of an imminent terrorist attack.

The Prime Minister told journalists the "overwhelming majority" of eligible people have now been evacuated from Afghanistan and pledged to “do everything we can to get everybody else" before the deadline.

He told reporters: "In the time we have left, which may be - as I'm sure everybody can appreciate - quite short, we'll do everything we can to get everybody else."

Although the UK has resisted calls for a clear deadline, France has said its evacuation programme will end tomorrow evening, while the Dutch government plans to end it today.

The efforts are being hampered by what James Heappey, the armed forces minister, described as "very credible reporting" of an "imminent" and "severe" threat to Kabul airport.

A further 1,988 people have left Kabul over eight RAF flights in the past 24 hours, with a further 11 flights due in the next 24 hours.

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