The U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, worked overtime to evacuate Afghan supporters of the U.S. military during the 20-year conflict as the Taliban seized control of the capital on Sunday. One thousand more U.S. troops landed in the country to help provide an orderly evacuation.

Embassy officials urged its staff to shred classified documents while destroying sensitive materials like American flags in the office. The diplomats are getting ready to leave the country amid the Taliban’s rapid territorial gains across the country and in the capital.

A memo from embassy officials instructed staff on several ways to destroy materials in the office based on the criteria: use burn bins and shredders for paper documents, incinerators for medical waste, a compactor for large items and a disintegrator for electronics.

The Pentagon announced Thursday that it had deployed 3,000 additional U.S. troops to the Kabul airport to help with the American evacuation.


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During a press conference on Thursday, State Department Spokesman Ned Price argued that the move is not an evacuation.

“This is not abandonment. This is not an evacuation. This is not the wholesale withdrawal,” Price said. “What this is is a reduction in the size of our civilian footprint. This is a drawdown of civilian Americans who will in many cases be able to perform their important functions elsewhere, whether that’s in the United States or elsewhere in the region.”

According to the reports, most U.S. diplomats in Kabul will be evacuated within the next 72 hours except for the key personnel.

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