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2 California families potentially still stranded in Afghanistan, 6 others evacuated

Written by on August 31, 2021

Two El Cajon, California, families may still be stranded in Afghanistan after officials spent the last week or so trying to evacuate eight families from the district who were visiting the country over the summer.

The Los Angeles Times first reported on Aug. 24 that eight families from the Cajon Valley Union School District consisting of 24 students and 16 parents were stuck in Afghanistan after President Biden announced that he would stick to his Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country.

24 STUDENTS, 16 PARENTS STRANDED IN AFGHANISTAN AFTER SUMMER VACATIONS

Three of those eight families have returned safely home, three others have left Afghanistan, and two may still be stranded after the last U.S. flights out of Kabul left on Monday evening.

U.S. Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) process evacuees as they go through the Evacuation Control Center (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 28, 2021. U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/Handout via REUTERS

U.S. Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) process evacuees as they go through the Evacuation Control Center (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 28, 2021. U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/Handout via REUTERS

“Several children returned to school on Monday to the open arms of their teachers and classmates,” Cajon Valley spokesperson Howard Shen told Fox News in a Monday statement. “Three additional families are safely out of Afghanistan and on their way back to the United States. One family is in process at the Afghanistan airport and another family is still waiting for help.”

CALIFORNIA REP. ISSA RESCUES 2 MORE FAMILIES TRAPPED IN AFGHANISTAN, MARKING 6 FAMILIES TOTAL

In a Tuesday morning update, Shen said that because “the airlift is no longer an avenue,” the school district is “exploring alternative strategies at this point” to get remaining students and parents out of Afghanistan. 

“Additionally, the family that we reported as secured at the Kabul airport might not have gotten out,” he said. “We are still waiting to confirm.”

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El Cajon has a large refugee population, and the families had gone to Afghanistan in May and early June, weeks before the crisis unfolded. They were not part of an organized trip and traveled separately.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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