State Department Orders Some U.S. Staff Out Of Afghanistan
By RFE/RL April 27, 2021
The State Department has issued a travel advisory ordering U.S. government employees out of the Afghan capital, Kabul, if their work can be done elsewhere.
"Travel to all areas of Afghanistan is unsafe because of critical levels of kidnappings, hostage taking, suicide bombings, widespread military combat operations, landmines, and terrorist and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne, magnetic, or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs), suicide vests, and grenades," according to the advisory, which was issued on April 27.
"On April 27, 2021, the Department ordered the departure from U.S. Embassy Kabul of U.S. government employees whose functions can be performed elsewhere," it said.
Ross Wilson, the acting U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, said that the State Department took the decision "in light of increasing violence and threat reports in Kabul."
He said that the order affected an unspecified "relatively small number" of employees and that the embassy would remain operating.
"Personnel who are urgently needed to address issues related to the drawdown of U.S. forces and the vital work we are doing in support of the Afghan people will be able to remain in place," Wilson wrote on Twitter.
President Joe Biden this month set a deadline for withdrawing all 2,500 U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan on September 11, the 20th anniversary of Al-Qaeda's attacks on the United States that triggered the war.
Biden has concluded that the U.S. military achieved its objectives, but American officials have voiced fears that violence will rise as the Taliban perceives that they achieved victory.
With reporting by Reuters and AFP
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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