Canada to take in 5,000 Afghan refugees evacuated by US


Canada said on Tuesday it would take in and resettle some 5,000 Afghan refugees who had been evacuated by the United States after the withdrawal of the last American troops from Kabul.

"We know there is more to do with allied evacuation operations ending," Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said.

"We're pulling out all the stops to help as many Afghans as possible who want to make their home in Canada."

Canada evacuated some 3,700 Afghans from Kabul who had worked with its armed forces in the past.

The country withdrew its last soldiers from Afghanistan seven years ago.

The 5,000 refugees evacuated by the United States will be resettled as part of a previously announced Canadian plan to take in more than 20,000 vulnerable Afghans - including women leaders, human rights workers and reporters - to protect them from Taliban reprisals.

Canada said it hoped to continue to help Afghans who want to resettle as long as the Taliban allow them to leave.

"Afghans with travel documents to other countries must be allowed to move safely and freely out of the country without interference," Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said at a news conference. "Canada and its allies are firm on this point, and we are united."

Celebratory gunfire resounded across Kabul on Tuesday as the Taliban took control of the airport following the withdrawal of the last US troops, marking the end of a 20-year war that left the group stronger than it was in 2001.

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