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UK has evacuated over 2,000 Afghans since Taliban takeover

UK has evacuated over 2,000 Afghans since Taliban takeover
2 min read
18 August, 2021
UK has evacuated over 2,000 Afghans since Taliban takeover, says Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The UK has taken in thousands since Kabul fell to the Taliban [Getty]

Britain has evacuated more than 2,000 Afghans since the Taliban takeover, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told lawmakers on Wednesday, as parliament was recalled to discuss the crisis.

"We have so far secured the safe return of 306 UK nationals and 2,052 Afghan nationals as part of our resettlement programme," he said, adding that 2,000 more Afghan applications were complete, and "many more" being processed.

Britain on Tuesday announced a resettlement scheme for Afghans fleeing the Taliban after their return to power, offering an initial 5,000 places in the first year, rising to up to 20,000 in the long term.

The announcement came on the eve of the extraordinary session, where MPs recalled from holiday discuss the collapse of the Afghan government, so soon after the withdrawal of Western forces.

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Some 900 British troops have been sent back to the Afghan capital to help repatriate thousands of UK nationals, including embassy staff, following the Islamists' return.

London said priority would be given to those most at risk, including Afghan women, children and others forced to flee or facing threats and persecution from the hardliners, offering them a chance to remain in Britain indefinitely.

"This resettlement scheme will be kept under further review for future years, with up to a total of 20,000 in the long term," the Home Office said in a statement.

The scheme is modelled on that which resettled 20,000 refugees from the Syria conflict from 2014 to this year.