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US: 20,000 Afghan interpreters request asylum

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US: 20,000 Afghan interpreters request asylum

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told a press briefing that some 20,000 Afghan translators said they feared retribution and wanted to flee the country. The news came as two US senators pushed President Joe Biden to speed up the evacuation process ahead of the planned withdrawal by September 11.

What did the White House say?

Psaki said those requesting asylum had been translators for the military or other bodies that had been targeted by the Taliban. “There are approximately 20,000 Afghans who have applied,” she told reporters. Those who complete security vetting could be temporarily housed at a US military base abroad, Psaki said. She said the US would also consider applications by the families of the interpreters. Some estimates put the number of people eligible at around 100,000. Officials say evacuations will start this month.A recent Taliban surge that put the insurgent force in control of key border posts has underlined concerns about those who might be left behind.

Meanwhile, two senior senators urged President Joe Biden to accelerate the evacuation process ahead of the troop pullout. They said Afghans who aided US intelligence services must also be included along with those who helped the military. 

News Source : France 24

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