Ministers defend evacuation efforts in Afghanistan amid dire security challenges

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Canada will work tirelessly to evacuate people from strife-ridden Afghanistan "for as long as it is safe to do so."

Speaking at a news conference today, Sajjan said the challenging security conditions in Kabul are changing rapidly, even by the hour, but Canadian personnel are doing everything in their power to get people to safety.

Sajjan was joined by Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau and Women and Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef.

The press conference comes after government officials confirmed Canadians had evacuated 106 more Afghans from the Kabul airport on Friday and brought them to a safe third country.

Friday's flight was Canada's second out of Kabul since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last weekend.

The first left Thursday, with 175 fleeing Afghans and 13 foreign nationals on board.

Officials say the Afghans on Thursday's flight are bound for other countries, while the 106 on Friday's are destined for settlement in Canada.

They say all of the Afghan evacuees were interpreters and other workers who supported Canada's military and diplomatic efforts in the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting