Two More San Diego-Area Families Able to Escape Kabul, As Bombing Kills Dozens
Last updated 8/27/2021 at 11:41am
EL CAJON - Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Bonsall, today announced two additional San Diego-area families that were trapped in the Kabul region of
Afghanistan have successfully been evacuated from that country.
``Amidst the heartbreak of yesterday and the chaos that has gripped Afghanistan for weeks, we continue to make extraordinary progress in bringing
our people home,'' Issa said. ``It is an honor to help rescue and reunite families and loved ones, but we still have more work to do.''
Issa refers to two explosions which rocked the capital city's airport Thursday, killing 60 Afghans and 13 United States service members. ISIS in
Khorasan claimed responsibility for the bombing, but no proof has yet been provided.
In addition to the fatalities, 18 U.S. service members and 140 Afghans were wounded in the blasts.
Issa said the two additional family units evacuated last night were comprised of seven people -- three adults and four children. The latest
families are part of six El Cajon-area families extracted from Afghanistan. The first four evacuated included seven adults and 16 children.
``We believe that most of the 20 total children are enrolled in school within the Cajon Valley Union School District, although exact numbers are
not known at this time,'' said a statement from Issa Representative Jon Wilcox.
``This has been an around-the-clock operation, and individuals inside of government and outside of it deserve our deepest thanks,'' Issa said. ``But
more members of our community still need our help. The mission is to bring our people home, and we will continue to do it.''
San Diego County made national news this week as several dozen students and parents from East County were reported as trapped in Afghanistan
after visiting extended family in the country this summer.
The 20 students and 14 parents -- who make up five families -- requested assistance to fly home from the U.S. government. According to David
Miyashiro, the Cajon Valley Union School District superintendent, the children range in age from preschool to high school.
San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson wrote a letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday urging the State Department's assistance in evacuating
``San Diego County is home to the most refugees in California, and I represent the large Middle Eastern community in the eastern part of the
county,'' he wrote. ``I have heard from my constituents their anguish over family members and loved ones currently trapped in Afghanistan.
``My constituents are rightfully concerned for the safety of these individuals and that they could be subjected to severe mistreatment, and
potentially execution, by the Taliban now controlling that nation,'' Anderson added.
The Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until the U.S. invasion toppled the regime in 2001, continue to consolidate their hold over the
country. The Taliban has worked with Al-Qaeda -- planners of the Sept. 11 attacks -- in the past, but has clashed with the Islamic State militants and
terrorists known better as ISIS, who differ of the level of Islamic Fundamentalist law and how it should be enforced -- and how those who break
that law should be punished.
The ISIS-Khorasan attack during a time of Taliban takeover could well lead to infighting and possible even civil war amongst the militant Islamist
groups as the U.S. continues its withdrawal from the country.
The tumult and chaos as the Taliban quickly took Kabul made it nearly impossible to secure a flight out of the country -- and that was before
Thursday's bombing. The families could not reach the airport even though they had plane tickets, Cajon Valley School Board President Tamara Otero told the Los Angeles Times.
One additional family was able to secure passage out of the country earlier this week. Four students and two parents, along with one infant,
returned home after stopping in another country, Miyashiro said.
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