Thirty Six Irish Citizens Awai...

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Thirty Six Irish Citizens Awaiting Evacuation From Afghanistan

Liam Daly
Liam Daly

02:00 19 Aug 2021

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The number of Irish Citizens in the country looking to leave has grown to 36, while three have successfully been evacuated.


Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney confirmed one of which was Meath native Aoife MacManus who had been coordinating a major education programme run by an international charity for the last two years in Afghanistan.


It comes as several people were killed today at an Independence Day rally in the country's Kunar province.


The protesters in the Afghan city of Asadabad were fired upon by Taliban forces after they took down the militant group's flag to replace it with the national flag.


It is unclear if those killed died as a result of the gunfire or the ensuing stampede.


Similar scenes were shown on Wednesday in the city of Jalalabad, where shots were fired to disperse the crowd.



While a clip posted on social media showed a crowd of men and women in the capital Kabul waving black, red and green national flags and chanting "Our flag, our identity."



August 19th marks the country's independence from Britain, with protesters in a number of cities using the occasion to bravely display their dislike for the insurgency.


Nick Henderson from the Irish Refugee Council says it demonstrates how urgently Afghans need to be evacuated.


"Afghan people who are trying to get to the airport are being prevented from doing so," Henderson said, continuing, "Only citizens of other countries are being able to pass and get to the airport, which is extremely worrying."


Women and children have been pleading with troops in Kabul to get them out of the country, but priority is being given to foreign nationals and Afghans who've worked with western forces.


Pakistan's ex-foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, is critical of how they left Afghanistan in the first place.


"The withdrawal process was hasty, unruly and was done in a very, very selfish way," the former foreign minister said. "Afghan lives, Afghan women and Afghan stability was compromised for the security of the troops who were withdrawing."


The Taliban had initially said no one would be harmed as it took control of the country and no-one would be prevented from evacuating.


President Joe Biden said US forces would remain until the evacuation of Americans was finished, even if that meant staying past an August 31st US deadline for withdrawal.

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Afghan Refugees Afghanistan America Asadabad Biden Crisis Freedom Ireland Jalalabad Kabul Simon Coveney Taliban Troops War