‘Their blood will be on your hands’: Chaos in Kabul hits Trudeau’s campaign

DM

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a snap Sept. 20 election to benefit from his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination program, but now faces questions over how his Liberal government dealt with this month’s chaos in Kabul. Canada announced on Thursday it had halted evacuations of its citizens and vulnerable Afghans who worked for Western nations in Afghanistan, admitting it did not know how many were left behind. Just days before the Afghan capital fell to the Taliban in a lightning advance, Canada said it had identified 6,000 Afghans for evacuation. In the end, only 3,700 Canadian citizens and Afghans were flown out. Trudeau called it a “very difficult day” but said Ottawa’s commitment to resettle more than 20,000 Afghans in Canada and support residents in the war-torn region will continue. “Our engagement with Afghanistan is not done. Yes, this phase of the emergency air bridge facilitated by the Americans until they pull out finally has been important and has been something we’ve been in wholeheartedly over the past many weeks,” he said. Advocates said Canada’s rescue effort was half-hearted, falling far short of what other allies were doing.

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