The U.S. embassy in Afghanistan urged U.S. citizens in the country to flee immediately, coming just as the Taliban captured multiple cities in the last 24 hours. “Given the security conditions and reduced staffing, the Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is extremely limited even within Kabul,” the nation’s capital, the U.S. said Saturday. It said it would provide citizens who could not afford to leave at once with a repatriation loan, which includes money to help return home. The U.S. already recalled non-essential employees of its Kabul office back home in April.
The State Department listed Afghanistan as a Level 4-Do Not Travel country, its highest designation for unsafe countries. The department cites risks such as COVID-19, kidnapping, terrorism, and armed conflict for those who travel there. It comes just as the Taliban captures two crucial provincial capitals within 24 hours Saturday, seizing the cities of Sheberghan and Zaranj.