The Latest: Bahrain says allows airport use for evacuations

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The island kingdom of Bahrain has said it is “allowing flights to make use of Bahrain’s transit facilities” amid the evacuations of Afghanistan.

The kingdom made the announcement in a statement released early Saturday.

Bahrain, in the Persian Gulf off Saudi Arabia, is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

The announcement comes as the U.S. faced issues Friday with its facilities at Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar filling up with those fleeing the Taliban takeover of the country.

The kingdom also said it is hoping that “all parties will commit to stabilizing the internal situation and to protecting the lives of civilians and the rule of law.”

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MORE ON THE CRISIS IN AFGHANISTAN:

— Report: Taliban killed minorities, fueling Afghans’ fears

US struggles to speed Kabul airlift despite Taliban, chaos

— Western groups desperate to save Afghan workers left behind

— Allies embraced Biden. Did Kabul lay bare “great illusion”?

— Afghan president latest leader on the run to turn up in UAE

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— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

KABUL, Afghanistan — Senior U.S. military officials say that the processing of passengers inside the Kabul airport has begun, but that there is a considerable backlog of people waiting to fly to Qatar.

Gates to the Hamid Karzai International Airport were closed overnight due to overcrowding in the area, and processing began Saturday morning. It would be roughly 5 to 9 hours before the backlog clears and more people could be allowed in through the gates.

The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to discuss ongoing military operations.

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WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Antony Blinken says 13 countries have thus far agreed to at least temporarily host at-risk Afghans evacuated from Afghanistan. Another 12 have agreed to serve as transit points for evacuees, including Americans and others, leaving Afghanistan.

Blinken said in a statement that potential Afghan refugees not already cleared for resettlement in the United States will be housed at facilities in Albania, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Qatar, Rwanda, Ukraine and Uganda.

Transit countries include Bahrain, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Qatar, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, he said.

“We deeply appreciate the support they have offered, and are proud to partner with them in our shared support of the Afghan people,” Blinken said. “We are encouraged by other countries that are also considering providing support. We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas and to fulfill our commitments to citizens of partner nations and at-risk Afghans.”

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