Spain may not be able to evacuate all Afghans who served their missions
Situation on ground in Kabul dramatic, says country's defence minister
Spain will not be able to rescue all Afghans who served Spanish missions in Afghanistan because of the "dramatic" situation on the ground, Defence Minister Margarita Robles said Tuesday.
"We will evacuate as many people as possible but there are people who will stay behind for reasons that do not depend on us, but on the situation there," she said during an interview with news radio Cadena Ser.
"It is a very frustrating situation for everyone, because even those who reach Kabul, access to the airport is very complicated," she added.
"The Taliban are becoming more aggressive, there is gunfire, violence is more obvious," she said.
"The situation is frankly dramatic and besides with each passing day it is worse because people are conscious that time is running out."
Like other European nations, Spain has been evacuating its local contractors from Afghanistan since the Taliban swept to power ten days ago.
Madrid has so far evacuated just over 700 people from Afghanistan but Robles said there were still "many people" who needed to leave.
The Spanish government has consistently declined to give a figure for the total number of people it planned to take out of Afghanistan.
US President Joe Biden has set an August 31 deadline to finish the chaotic airlift organised by thousands of temporarily deployed US and UK troops, but has left the door open to an extension if needed.
However, a spokesman for the Taliban warned Monday the hardline group would not agree to any extension.
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