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Sunday, September 26, 2021

U.S. Afghans struggle to help relatives in Kabul

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U.S. Afghans struggle to help relatives in Kabul
U.S. Afghans struggle to help relatives in Kabul

As the Taliban took over Kabul on Sunday, Besmellah Khuram sat in his living room in Sacramento and video-called his family in Afghanistan.

Gloria Tso has more.

As American troops leave Afghanistan and the Taliban cements its control over the country, Afghans living in the U.S. fear for their families' safety back home.

"Once the Taliban captured Kabul, Afghanistan, there's no future, no hope, no one feels safe." 35 year old Najib Kohistani lives in Fremont, California.

He's one of the roughly 156,000 Afghans now residing in the U.S. He says he thinks the U.S. should have finished what they started when they invaded Afghanistan 20 years ago.

"They (the U.S.) should have stayed until the Taliban was defeated completely, but the Taliban was like day by day getting stronger and stronger.

They should have stayed, they should have defeated them completely and then come back (home)." Many have clamored for Washington to take in more Afghans after the Taliban seized the capital Kabul.

Thousands of desperate civilians rushed to Kabul airport on Monday, prompting the U.S. to suspend evacuations.

Some clung to a U.S. military plane as it taxied on the runway, according to local broadcaster Tolo news.

Aisha Wahab, the first Afghan American woman to be elected to U.S. public office, called the withdrawal heartbreaking.

"The sad fact of the matter is there was no attempt at nation building.

Even with these governments in place, the United States legitimized warlords of the previous decades in positions of power and gave them more authority and more control in the country.

That right there started the catalyst for what we see today." Facing criticism over the chaos, U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday defended the withdrawal of American troops, blaming the Taliban's takeover on Afghan leaders who fled the country, and a U.S.-trained Afghan army unwilling to fight.

The U.S.-based Afghan Coalition is trying to help Afghans file visa requests for their relatives stuck in the country.

But they say there's little else the organization can do.

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