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Taliban tide: Czech Republic approves aid, asylum for Afghan interpreters

Around 20,000 Afghans who worked as interpreters for the United States during its war in the country have applied for evacuation under the State Department program of Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs).

Published: 30th July 2021 04:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2021 04:36 PM   |  A+A-

AK-47 Afghanistan Afghan rebels

Afghan militiamen join security forces during a gathering against Taliban. (Photo | AP)

By AFP

PRAGUE: The Czech government on Friday gave the go-ahead to a financial aid and asylum programme for local personnel employed by the Czech army in Afghanistan during its deployment there.

"In order to protect people's security, we cannot give more details and this issue will be classified as secret," Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar said on Twitter.

The programme will include the families of former employees.

Czech media have said the programme will cover around 30 Afghans -- mostly interpreters -- and their families.

The Czech army was part of the foreign military operation in Afghanistan from 2002 until withdrawal last month. Fourteen Czech soldiers died there.

Several countries, primarily the United States, are considering relocation help for Afghan interpreters who worked for them.

Many of the former employees fear retaliation by the Taliban, who are seeking to regain control of the government in Kabul after the departure of US troops before the end of August.

Around 20,000 Afghans who worked as interpreters for the United States during its war in the country have applied for evacuation under the State Department program of Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs).

Some estimates suggest the total number of prospective evacuees could be as high as 100,000 when family members are counted.



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