AFGHANISTAN (AP) — U.S. officials say that American military planes have resumed evacuation flights from the Kabul airport after an hours-long pause due to a bottleneck in Qatar to take evacuees.
“Our throughput has increased, and we continue to observe steady progress in Kabul,” said Maj. General Hank Taylor during a Pentagon briefing Friday afternoon.
Taylor said U.S. military flights out of Kabul during a 24-hour span between Thursday and Friday carried nearly 6,000 passengers, including several hundred Americans.
One official said there had been a backlog on Friday of about 10,000 people at the airport who have been cleared for departure and were awaiting flights.
Taylor said the backlog began early Friday and lasted about 6-7 hours.
The backlog, in turn, caused the military to close gates at the airport perimeter, where many people are trying to get on flights. The State Department was working on arranging additional places to take the evacuees.
Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said U.S. troops retrieved 169 people just outside the perimeter of the airport. Kirby said the people were very close to the airport perimeter, but he was not able to say how many of those individuals were Americans.