US General says 7,000-plus evacuees flown to Europe

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Washington: The head of the US military’s European Command says that so far more than 7,000 evacuees from Afghanistan have been flown to eight locations around Europe, mainly in Germany and Italy.

General Tod Wolters said Wednesday that 55 evacuation flights from Afghanistan have flown into Ramstein Air Base in Germany and three into Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy. He says the flights brought nearly 5,800 evacuees from Kabul to Ramstein and 662 to Sigonella.

Smaller numbers of flights and people have gone to six other European locations, largely bases in Germany. Flights will soon be going into the base at Rota, Spain.

Wolters says there have been few medical or security problems. He says fewer than 100 individuals have needed additional medical screening, and of those fewer than 25 needed medical attention at the military hospital. More than half of them have already returned to Ramstein for further processing and travel onward to more permanent destinations.

He says just 52 people have required additional security screening, and all of them were eventually cleared.

Wolters says evacuees are spending three to four days at the Europe transit stops before they move on. He says the plan is to move 1,500-1,800 people per day on to Dulles International Airport outside Washington.

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