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Ned Price. Photo: KEVIN LAMARQUE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration said Friday that the State Department is in touch with approximately 500 U.S. citizens in Afghanistan who still wish to leave the country.

Why it matters: The Aug. 31 deadline for a U.S. troop withdrawal is looming closer. While the Biden administration has said there is no plan to extend the deadline, the president suggested on Thursday that efforts may continue past that date to bring some Americans home.

  • State Department spokesman Ned Price said Friday that the U.S. has a "commitment" to get specific groups — including American citizens, locally employed staff and Afghans with Special Immigrant Visas — out of Afghanistan, and that commitment will continue beyond Aug. 31.
  • The State Department on Thursday said that while they are in contact with Americans that remain in the country, "we know that dozens more do not wish to leave Afghanistan for a range of reasons."
  • The Taliban has asked the U.S. to keep diplomatic presence in Afghanistan beyond the deadline, which is an option that the Biden administration is "actively discussing," Price said.

By the numbers: Price and White House press secretary Jen Psaki both said Friday that since Aug. 14, 5,100 U.S. citizens have been evacuated.

  • Within the last day, 300 additional Americans have been evacuated.

What they're saying: "There are approximately 500 American citizens we are currently working with who want to leave and with whom we are communicating directly to facilitate their evacuations," Price said.

  • "Last night alone, we reached out to every American who we believe may be in Afghanistan and attempting to leave. In many cases, we did this again multiple times, by phone, by email, by text. We continue to reach out to anyone who makes contact with us through multiple means, which over the past week, has included tens of thousands of calls, emails, texts, WhatsApp messages and other tactics," Price added.

Between the lines: Psaki said Friday that "[a]nother terror attack in Kabul is likely" before the end of the month.

  • "The threat is ongoing, it is active, our troops are still in danger," she added.

Go deeper

Oct 16, 2021 - World

U.S. offers condolence payments to families of civilians killed in Kabul air strike

Department of Defense press secretary John Kirby (left) and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor (right) at a press briefing following the Kabul drone strike. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

The Pentagon has offered unspecified payments as a condolence to the families of 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children, who were killed in an Aug. 29 U.S. drone strike in Kabul.

Why it matters: Though U.S. military officials initially said the drone strike targeted an Islamic State member, they later admitted that Zemari Ahmadi, an aid worker who was driving the car struck by the drone, was an innocent victim.

Updated 16 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.