Two stranded San Diego families make it out of Afghanistan, more still remain


Afghan refugees board a bus after arriving at Dulles International Airport on August 27, 2021 in Dulles, Virginia, after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. – The Pentagon said on Friday the ongoing evacuation from Afghanistan faces more threats of attack a day after a suicide bomber and possible associated gunmen killed scores at a Kabul airport gate. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

EL CAJON, Calif. (KSWB) — Two more San Diego-area families stranded in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover were on their way home Friday morning, according to California Rep. Darrell Issa, who said he and a team of others worked through the night to secure their release.

Eight East County families — accounting for more than 20 students in the Cajon Valley Union School District — got stuck in the embattled country and reached out to school leaders earlier this month for help getting home.

Officials haven’t always had an exact number of people stuck in the region, but Issa said Friday that “two additional family units” accounting for “seven people — three adults and four children” were the most recent to escape.

Issa said that brought the totals to 10 adults and 20 children from his district who have gotten out safely. Work remains to get any other local people home. District officials said there was still at least one family believed to be in Afghanistan who they were trying to communicate with.

“This has been an around-the-clock operation, and individuals inside of government and outside of it deserve our deepest thanks,” Issa said in a statement. “But more members of our community still need our help. The mission is to bring our people home, and we will continue to do it.”

Issa said this week there could be as many as 70 San Diegans not related to the East County school district that are also trying to make it home safely.

The effort to get Americans out of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, became all the more dire when explosions from suicide bombers rocked the area surrounding the airport Thursday, killing well over 100 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.

“Amidst the heartbreak of yesterday and the chaos that has gripped Afghanistan for weeks, we continue to make extraordinary progress in bringing our people home,” Issa said. “It is an honor to help rescue and reunite families and loved ones, but we still have more work to do.”

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