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Canada To Fast-Track Resettlement Of Afghan Interpreters, Families Amid 'Deteriorating' Situation

Former Afghan interpreters, who worked with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, hold signs during a demonstration about their safety in front of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on June 25.

Canada has said it will fast-track the resettlement of Afghan interpreters, embassy staff, and their families amid the “deteriorating” security situation in Afghanistan, saying they had become targets for revenge killings by the Taliban.

"Canada is here to support those who supported us," Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said on July 23, adding that "several thousand" people would be eligible.

It was unclear who would be eligible or when the Afghans would start arriving in Canada.

The Taliban has killed hundreds of Afghans who have worked for foreign military forces and their family members over the years.

In May, a former Afghan interpreter for the U.S. Army was beheaded by the Taliban, CNN reported.

In June, the Taliban claimed that Afghans who worked with international troops in the past would not be targeted if they “show remorse for their past actions."

An estimated 300,000 Afghan civilians have worked for international forces in some capacity since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Advocacy groups and rights watchdogs have urged Western nations to accelerate programs to resettle former Afghan employees who are increasingly at risk from the Taliban.

The United States said last week that it will bring a first group of Afghans -- numbering around 2,500 -- who worked with the U.S. government to a military base in Virginia until their visas are finalized.

Around 18,000 Afghan applicants are still waiting a decision on their U.S. Special Immigrant Visa applications.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters