UK’s evacuation into ‘final hours’ in Afghanistan: UK Defence Secretary

London [UK], August 27 : UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace on Friday (local time) said that its evacuation mission is in ‘final hours’ in Afghanistan, four days prior to the August 31 deadline by the Taliban.
Wallace told Sky News the effort was into its “final hours” after the closure of the main processing center in Kabul at the Baron Hotel near the airport. He said, “We at 4.30 this morning, UK-time, closed the Baron Hotel, shut the processing center and the gates were closed at Abbey Gate.
“We will process the people that we’ve brought with us, the 1,000 people approximately in the airfield now and we will seek a way to continue to find a few people in the crowds where we can, but overall the main processing is now closed and we have a matter of hours.
“The sad fact is not every single one will get out. The threat is obviously going to grow the closer we get to leaving,” said Wallace.
People eligible to be resettled in the UK will be left behind as the final British flights leave on Friday following an attack at Baron Hotel that closed just hours after an attack which was claimed by terror group ISIS-K, outside the Kabul airport that killed 13 US troops and 78 Afghans, reported Sky News.
Wallace said he had authorized the loosening of regulations on numbers “to pack people in” on the final flights out. It is expected about 600 people will now be able to board military transporters.
The defense secretary said the night before the attack the British Army had pushed a perimeter away from the Barons Hotel by about 300 meters, reported Sky News.
“If they hadn’t pushed that perimeter further out we’d be in a worse place,” he added.
Defense sources told Sky News up to half of those crowding into the Baron Hotel yesterday for processing were not cleared under the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) for interpreters or the Leave Outside the Immigration Rules (LOTR) scheme, making processing difficult.
The roughly 1,000 UK troops at the airport will start packing up and leaving after the final evacuations have taken place today, the defense secretary said.
He would not confirm whether they would remain in Kabul until the 31 August deadline the US has set, reported Sky News.
People who were unable to get processed should make their way to land borders and the UK will make sure its visa processing facilities in neighbouring countries are working hard to get Afghans to the UK, Wallace said.
After the US warned of an imminent terror attack on Wednesday, most countries ended their evacuation efforts on Thursday ahead of the bombing.

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