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At least 32 California students are still stranded in chaotic, war-torn Afghanistan even though Monday’s final military evacuation flight left Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.
What are the details?
San Juan Unified School District near Sacramento said Tuesday that 29 district students are stranded in Afghanistan, the Daily Mail reported.
Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon, California, announced the same day that three students from the same family were also remained.
Last week, Blaze Media reported that at least 24 students and 16 parents from the Cajon Valley district visited Afghanistan earlier in the summer and were trapped in the country as the Taliban continued its takeover. That week, Cajon Valley Superintendent David Miyashiro said that the students and adults traveled to the country on special visa for U.S. military services to visit extended relatives, and explained that he would be meeting with Republican California Rep. Darrell Issa to figure out how to locate and rescue the stranded families.
A spokesperson for the California Republican said that the congressman and his team were “working diligently to determine the facts on the ground, any bureaucratic barriers that can be removed, and the best ways to help those stranded leave Afghanistan and return home safely.”
On Tuesday, the San Juan Unified School District told Newsweek that the 29 district students stranded in the country come from 19 families.
According to the outlet, the Sacramento-area school district is home to more than 1,400 Afghan refugee students. It is believed that up to 150 students were previously stranded in Afghanistan.
“We stand ready to support these students and families in whatever way that we can, and are working closely with state-elected officials to provide them information as we receive it from our families. San Juan Unified stands with our Afghan community and all those whose loved ones are currently in Afghanistan. We sincerely hope for their speedy and safe return back to the U.S. and back to our school communities,” a district representative told Newsweek in a statement on the matter.
Sacramento Democratic Rep. Ami Bera told Fox News that his office and the district are working hand-in-hand to bring the students home, but noted that the Biden administration has yet to provide an update on how they will safely bring the children home.
“Our office has been in close contact with the San Juan Unified School District, and have urgently flagged this with the Department of Defense and State Department. We have not received an update from DOD or State,” a spokesperson for Bera told the outlet.
The Biden administration has insisted that they believe the Taliban will permit U.S. citizens to leave the country even though military evacuations have ended.
During a Tuesday briefing, President Joe Biden said, “I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not going to extend a forever exit. We succeeded in what we set out to do in Afghanistan over a decade ago. It was time to end this war.”
White House to send more than $300 million in aid to Afghanistan despite Taliban control
The White House announced plans Tuesday to send more than $308 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan as millions face starvation under the new Taliban government following President Joe Biden’s withdrawal.
The assistance would be given by the United States Agency for International Development through “independent humanitarian organizations” to the Afghan people, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said.
The administration has been criticized for sending aid to Afghanistan previously. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) warned that it would be “foolish” and asserted that the Taliban “would take the money.”
“This brings total U.S. humanitarian aid in Afghanistan and for Afghan refugees in the region to nearly $782 million since October 2021, and we remain the single largest donor of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan,” Horne said, adding that the U.S. has also given 4.3 million COVID-19 doses to the Afghan people.
Assistance will “help provide lifesaving protection and shelter, essential health care, winterization assistance, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in response to the growing humanitarian needs exacerbated by COVID-19 and healthcare shortages, drought, malnutrition, and the winter season,” Horne said.
China sent assistance to Afghanistan last month to help the nation prepare for winter and build ties between the Chinese Communist Party and the new jihadist government.
“The United States is committed to supporting the Afghan people and we continue to consider all options available to us,” Horne concluded. “We stand with the people of Afghanistan.”
ARTICLE: Fort Hood soldier found dead behind barracks
The soldier was identified as Spc. Maxwell Hockin, who was assigned to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He entered the Army in March 2017 as a combat engineer, Fort Hood officials said Wednesday.
Hockin’s awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon, officials said.
Hockin had been at the Texas base since July 2017, where he was assigned to the 91st Engineer Battalion.
“The entire Saber family is devastated by the loss of our true teammate and friend Specialist Maxwell Hockin,” Lt. Col. Patrick Sullivan, commander, 91st Engineer Battalion, said in a statement Wednesday. “He had an outstanding work ethic, was a mentor to his peers, and was always willing to help out the team. He will truly be missed. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Maxwell’s family during this difficult time.”
See the video:
VIDEOS: How many Americans are still in Afghanistan?
A good question How many American are still in Afghanistan… those who should know don’t.
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