The United States Thursday urged Americans to leave Afghanistan immediately as the Taliban continued their advance across the country with the seizure of a strategic city near the capital of Kabul.
The U.S. embassy in Kabul said in a notice on its website that U.S. citizens should “leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options.”
The embassy offered help to citizens unable to leave immediately for financial or other reasons but warned, “Given the security conditions and reduced staffing, the Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is extremely limited even within Kabul.”
On Thursday, the Taliban captured the key city of Ghazni, about 150 kilometers southwest of Kabul, its latest seizure since the U.S. began withdrawing troops from the country in May. U.S. troops are expected to be out by the end of this month.
The pullout is leaving the Afghan government to fight the Islamist group without the support of U.S. troops.
The U.S. ordered American government employees on April 27 to work outside the embassy if possible, noting an escalation of violence in Kabul.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said earlier this week the embassy’s status had not changed but added that the U.S. government was evaluating threats around the diplomatic mission daily.