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story.lead_photo.caption Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport after the U.S. withdrawal in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. The Taliban were in full control of Kabul's international airport on Tuesday, after the last U.S. plane left its runway, marking the end of America's longest war. (AP Photo/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi)

WASHINGTON — The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee says some Americans who have been trying to get out of Afghanistan since the U.S. military left are sitting in airplanes at an airport ready to leave but the Taliban are not letting them take off.

Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas says there are six airplanes at the Mazar-e-Sharif airport with American citizens on board, along with their Afghan interpreters, and the Taliban are "holding them hostage" right now.

A worker at the Mazar-e-Sharif airport confirmed several aircraft he believes were chartered by the U.S. are parked at the airport. Taliban have prevented them from leaving, saying they wanted to check the documents of those on board, many of whom do not have passports or visas. The airport official did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject.

McCaul, speaking on "Fox News Sunday," says the Taliban have made demands. He gave no specifics but said he's worried "They're going to demand more and more, whether it be cash or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan."

He said the aircraft have been at the airport for "the last couple days."

 

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