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Locals continue to help Afghans trying to flee the country

About 300 US Marines return to dangerous Afghan province
Posted at 10:16 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 01:16:37-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — On Monday, the last United States troops left Afghanistan ending a war that began nearly 20 years ago.

The U.S. says around 123,000 people were able to leave the country; however, many remain.

Throughout the extraction period, Tucsonans have been working to help get people out of the country. When the United States left on Monday, Nick Van Kleek said the messages he received were devastating.

"He says we have been left behind to Taliban and ISIS; let's face it," Van Kleek said as he read a message from someone he and his wife have been trying to get out of the country.

With the United States out of the country, Van Kleek said they have to turn to other options.

"They announced yesterday that there are 98 countries are going to accept refugees from Afghanistan," Van Kleek said. "Which means there are 98 countries out friends can apply for, so we are learning about that."

Despite the changes, they are holding out hope.

"Hope is not lost," Van Kleek said. "Now we are the process that requires a lot of patience."

Another one of the many people in Tucson that is working to help those Afghanistan is Atifa Rawan. She grew up in the country and worked with the University of Arizona as a librarian for years here.

"I was just seeing the end of democracy in a nation," Rawan said about Monday's withdrawal. "I hope that it isn't going to be the case, but it looks like we have lost democracy in Afghanistan."