Report: 20 American Students, 16 Parents Stranded in Afghanistan: ‘They Were Not Able to Get to the Airport’

Families begin to board a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 23. U.S. service members are assisting the Department of State with an orderly drawdown of designated personnel in Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz).
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz

Twenty American students and sixteen parents are stranded in Afghanistan, unable to reach the extraction point at the Kabul airport upon concluding their summer vacation.

Cajon Valley School Board President Tamara Otero told the Los Angeles Times the stranded group had purchased flights out of Afghanistan before the beginning of the school year on August 17, but were not able to leave the country due to President Joe Biden’s deadly withdrawal operation.

“Unfortunately, they were not able to get to the airport,” Otero said.

“The biggest concern is that the Taliban closed the airport,” Otero added. “We are so worried about our students that are stuck there. We’ll do the best we can to get them out.”

Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint near the US embassy that was previously manned by American troops, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. The Taliban declared an "amnesty" across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country. (AP Photo)

Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint near the US embassy that was previously manned by American troops, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 17, 2021. (AP Photo)

Cajon Valley Superintendent David Miyashiro notified the families that he would be meeting with Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (CA). The congressman’s spokesperson confirmed to the Times the group of Americans is stranded.

“Congressman Issa and his staff are working diligently to determine the facts on the ground, any bureaucratic barriers that can be removed, and the best ways to help those stranded leave Afghanistan and return home safely,” the spokesperson said. “We won’t stop until we have answers and action.”

The Times report about Americans trapped in Afghanistan due to the Taliban quickly taking control of the country faster than Biden had thought possible is not the only one.

Breitbart News reported Tuesday other Americans were stranded. “I’m trying to get my family out of here,” an American named Haroon told Fox News. “They don’t deserve this – to stay in Afghanistan, to deal with Taliban. Everyone should get out of here as soon as possible. We don’t have safety anymore.”

A U.S. Marine assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command processes children at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan, Aug. 24, 2021. The U.S. is assisting the Department of State with a Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) in Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Melissa Marnell)

A U.S. Marine assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command processes children at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Melissa Marnell)

Another report reveals over a thousand Americans are trapped at the American University of Afghanistan. “It has been able to get only around 50 people out. It needs to get out 1200 more. These people have been— and will continue to be — Taliban targets,” Michelle Kosinski reported. The University “has had difficulty getting help in evacuating its people out.”

Meanwhile, the Taliban-enforced withdrawal deadline in five days looms over the administration. Wednesday the Pentagon confirmed only 4,400 have been extracted with an unknown amount of American citizens stuck behind enemy lines. Last week the White House suggested about 11,000 Americans were in the country.

Politico reported Tuesday a leaked State Department cable that revealed the following total extractions since August 23: 4,407 American citizens, 21,533 Afghans, 642 third country/unknown, 26,582 total.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø 

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