British troops dealing with 'hundreds' of Afghans says expert
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Sky News Chief Correspondent Stuart Ramsay has described British troops in Afghanistan being forced to handle asylum requests from “hundreds” of Afghans who have turned up at the wrong centres in Kabul. Many desperate refugees meant for the United States have arrived at a processing base in Kabul manned by British forces according to the Sky correspondent. He said soldiers have been forced to streamline the process in order to rush people fleeing the Taliban through amid chaotic scenes at Kabul airport.
Mr Ramsay told Sky News: “Some of them are going to the wrong places.
“For example where we are where the British are processing people, they have actually had hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of people who are actually meant to be going to the United States, not to the UK
“But they have actually been coming here for a variety of reasons.
“One is they thought this was the right place to come, other’s say this was the address they were given rather than another camp which is a short distance away from here.
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“Some say when they got there which was meant to be the American base there was actually nobody there so they came here anyway.
“So the British soldiers pretty much on their own making their own decisions because they know all the various bits of paperwork that people are meant to have, just let them in if they had the right paperwork to go to the UK or the United States, or to other European countries.
“So they have had to deal with that problem, now we understand they are making quite good progress on that and they are able to stream it in some way.
“That those coming to Britain and perhaps European will come to one section and those going to the United States will go to another section and then they will move to the airport to be processed by the Americans over there.”
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It comes after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was defended on Radio 4 by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace amid reports Mr Raab neglected to make a phone call to Afghan officials to secure the transport of at-risk translators.
Mr Raab is under the spotlight for not returning from a holiday on the Greek island of Crete as Taliban fighters swept through Afghanistan last week.
Ben Wallace came to the defence of the Foreign Secretary on Thursday, telling Today programme host Martha Kearney that the call “wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference.”
Mr Wallace told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Last Friday the Afghan Government was melting away quicker than ice.
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“And a phone call to an Afghan minister at that moment in time would have not made a difference.”
He added: “Last Friday we what we were absolutely worried about and were unsure about was whether the airport would stay open.
“That was at the front of everybody’s minds, without a functioning airport we were going to nobody out, no matter how many phone calls we made to a disappearing government.”
“You can speculate over whether the phone call should have been made but it wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference,” added the Defence Secretary.
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