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Biden defends handling of US’s Afghan withdrawal

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Biden Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is defending his handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, including the frantic final evacuation from Kabul airport.

In remarks at the White House on Tuesday, Biden said the U.S. government had reached out 19 times since March — prior to his public announcement that he was going to end the U.S. war — to encourage all American citizens in Afghanistan to leave. He acknowledged that 100 to 200 were unable to get out when the airlift ended Monday.

Biden asserted that his administration was ready when the U.S.-backed government in Kabul collapsed in mid-August and the Taliban took over. But the airlift that began Aug. 14 has been heavily criticized by many as initially unorganized and chaotic.

Biden said that 5,500 Americans eventually got out, and that “arrangements” will be made to get the remaining Americans out if they so choose.

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Associated Press

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