Afghanistan: US flag comes down from Kabul embassy amid evacuation
Washington, Aug 16 : A State Department official says the American flag is no longer flying at the US Embassy in Kabul amid evacuations from Afghanistan's capital.
The official tells The Associated Press that nearly all embassy personnel have been relocated to the city''s international airport.
The official says the flag itself is with embassy personnel, who are among thousands of Americans and others waiting for flights.
The official was not authorised to discuss the details publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
In a joint statement Sunday night, the State Department and the Pentagon say they are taking steps to secure the airport for safe departures by way of civilian and military flights.
The statement says the US security presence will have expanded to nearly 6,000 troops over the next two days and will take over air traffic control.
Those leaving include American citizens who have been living in Afghanistan, locally employed staff of the US mission in Kabul and their families, and other particularly vulnerable Afghan nationals.
Also part of the departure plan are thousands of Afghans eligible for US special immigrant visas.
Nearly 2,000 of those with special visas have arrived in the United States over the past two weeks.