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Afghanistan turmoil

Australia urged to do more for Afghan aides as time runs out

Veterans and opposition figures press Canberra over relatively low evacuee numbers

Evacuees from Afghanistan board a Royal Australian Air Force KC-30 aircraft on Aug. 24.   © Australian Department of Defense via Reuters

SYDNEY -- As a deadly suicide attack at Kabul's airport upends the Afghanistan evacuation drive, Australian veterans hope Canberra will not leave hundreds of former Afghan aides high and dry.

"These are people, not a piece of equipment you discard when you're finished," Jason Scanes, former Australian army captain and head of the non-profit Forsaken Fighters, told Nikkei Asia before the attack. "My interpreter Hassan has been waiting for eight years. We lodged his original application back in July 2013 and he's still there, with his three boys under 6 and an 8-month-old daughter."

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