Australia ends Afghanistan evacuation efforts

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Canberra [Australia], August 27 (ANI/Xinhua): Australia's evacuation mission from Afghanistan has ended, authorities said on Friday.

Australian Minister for Defense Peter Dutton confirmed on Friday that Australian troops have left Afghanistan before the deadly bombing attacks at the Kabul airport.

The suicide bombings which occurred on Thursday night local time killed dozens including 13 American troops.

The Australian government has not been able to confirm whether any Australians or visa holders were injured, according to local media.

"Not too long before the attack, I can confirm that Australian troops and the rest of our personnel were wheels up and out of Kabul and I am so grateful that they are now safe," Dutton said.

The Australian and New Zealand Defense Forces flew more than 4,000 people out of Kabul.

Dutton told local media there was "very clear intelligence" that further attacks were likely but that the decision to leave Kabul was still a difficult one.

"It's an impossible situation, because the intelligence was clear to us that if we allowed our soldiers to stay on with the near certainty of terrorist attacks, then we would lose... Australian lives," he said. "That wasn't a risk we were prepared to take." (ANI/Xinhua)

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