Over 1200 Canadian citizens stranded in Afghanistan: Official

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Ottawa [Canada], August 31 (ANI/Sputnik): Some 1,250 Canadian and permanent residents remain stranded in Afghanistan at the conclusion of the US-led foreign mission withdrawal from the war-torn country, Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said on Tuesday.

"We estimate at the moment there are roughly 1,250 either Canadian citizens, permanent residents or family members that are in Afghanistan," Garneau said during a press briefing.

Ottawa is asking those who were unable to leave Afghanistan to shelter in place and is urging the Taliban (designated as a terror group and outlawed in Russia) to ensure safe passage to those wishing to leave with the last foreign troops who left the country earlier in the day.

Garneau said Canada is also boosting its diplomatic operations in countries adjacent to Afghanistan to serve those fleeing via third countries.

The Taliban militants entered the Afghan capital of Kabul on August 15, ending a weeks-long offensive and resulting in the collapse of the US-backed government. The seizure of power has forced thousands of Afghans to seek refuge abroad for fears of reprisals from the militants.

Ottawa has vowed to relocate some 20,000 Afghan nationals to Canada, who are most at risk of Taliban reprisals. (ANI/Sputnik)

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