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Private group helping evacuate people from Afghanistan

Task Force Argo has evacuated over 1,800 people since last month.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The United States withdrew its military from Afghanistan over a month ago, but there were still citizens and allies left behind. That's where Task Force Argo came in, with a plan to help the people, who helped us.

The group is made up of military veterans, intelligence workers, and nonprofit leaders. They are focused on evacuating U.S. citizens, their family members and Afghan allies such as interpreters or military members. Over 1,800 have been escorted out of the country so far. 

Iowa State Senator Zach Nunn, R-Altoona is one veteran involved with the evacuations.

"We depended on our locals on the ground to be able to help protect our airmen, our soldiers, our marines," Nunn said. "And when the tide turned, and we were leaving, we didn't want to leave them in a situation where their families who had sacrificed for so many decades, were left basically vulnerable."

Nabi Mohammadi is a former interpreter for the U.S. military. Although he's been in the U.S. since 2013, many of his friends and family members are still in Afghanistan. His brother, a major in the Afghan army, was recently evacuated by Task Force Argo. However, the son of his mother-in-law, a local policeman, was captured by the Taliban, though he survived.

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"He was beaten up. And he sent me some pictures and all that. So this is the world the Afghan security forces are facing right now," Mohammadi said. "And this is why it is important to rescue them."

When asked about how he would express the importance of the evacuations to Americans who haven't experienced the threat presented by the Taliban, Mohammadi wanted people to know: evacuation efforts really do make a difference.

"They stand by us, by the US. It's time for us to stand by them and get them to safety," he said. "And we are not talking about politics, it's just saving lives, saving ordinary people's lives, and lives of the people who helped us."

Nunn stressed to Local 5 that Task Force Argo is a nonpartisan initiative. He describes it as a private group involving people of all political affiliations with a common goal of helping with evacuations.

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