correction

A previous version of this story stated that Secretary of State Antony Blinken said 6,000 Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan since Aug. 14. In fact, Blinken had said that at least 4,500 U.S. citizens have been evacuated. This article has been corrected.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that there could be as many as 1,500 Americans in Afghanistan still seeking to leave as U.S. officials continue to move personnel out of the country ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline. At least 4,500 Americans have been evacuated from the country since Aug. 14, he said.

U.S. diplomats have been in touch with about 500 Americans still seeking to leave Afghanistan, and were “aggressively reaching out” to 1,000 more, “multiple times a day through multiple channels,” Blinken said.

In a leaked recording, administration officials told congressional staff members Wednesday that some Americans have told the State Department that they do not plan to evacuate from Afghanistan unless they can bring Afghan family members with them — a demand that may challenge the Biden administration’s airlift mission.

The United States and allied countries flew about 19,000 people out of Kabul in a 24-hour window ending early Wednesday, the White House said. Since Aug. 14, the United States has helped evacuate more than 80,000 people.

Here’s what to know

  • President Biden reaffirmed his intent to complete the U.S. evacuation mission by Aug. 31. But he has been briefed on contingency plans and the military withdrawal depends on conditions, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.
  • Canadian officials said Wednesday that their country must cease its efforts to evacuate civilians and withdraw its military personnel from Afghanistan before the Aug. 31 deadline for U.S. troops to leave, acknowledging the possibility that Canada won’t be able to evacuate everyone it wants to before then.
  • Kabul residents, meanwhile struggled to find money Wednesday even after the Taliban ordered banks to reopen for the first time in more than a week amid rising prices and uncertainty. Many ATMs are empty in the capital, and people have had to wait hours to take out money in recent days.