Taliban fighters stand guard inside the city of Ghazni, southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. The Canadian government is facing urgent calls to speed up its effort to save hundreds of former Afghan interpreters and their families as Western countries step up plans to evacuate Afghanistan after 20 years of war. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Gulabuddin Amiri

Taliban fighters stand guard inside the city of Ghazni, southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. The Canadian government is facing urgent calls to speed up its effort to save hundreds of former Afghan interpreters and their families as Western countries step up plans to evacuate Afghanistan after 20 years of war. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Gulabuddin Amiri

Ottawa faces calls to speed up Afghan rescues as special forces deploy to Kabul

One of those calling for more speed is retired major-general Denis Thompson

The Canadian government is facing urgent calls to speed up its effort to save hundreds of former Afghan interpreters and their families as Western countries step up plans to evacuate Afghanistan after 20 years of war.

Canada is among those preparing to leave, with revelations late Thursday that the government is deploying special forces troops to help evacuate the embassy in Kabul.

Those revelations are sparking alarm and confusion among Canadian veterans and others who have been working to save hundreds of Afghans who supported Canada over the years and are now at risk of Taliban retribution.

One of those calling for more speed is retired major-general Denis Thompson, who previously commanded Canadian troops in Afghanistan and was one of three former two-star generals who wrote a letter last month urging Ottawa to save the interpreters.

Thompson says while he is grateful that the government agreed to expedite the resettlement of Afghans who supported Canada, he is frustrated by the pace of the effort and the lack of information from officials.

The Taliban have moved with stunning speed in capturing large swaths of Afghanistan in recent weeks, and there have been numerous reports of targeted killings and attacks on civilians.

The Canadian Press

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