District offices in El Cajon. Photo courtesy of the district

The Cajon Valley Union School District said Wednesday that as many as 24 of its students were stranded in Afghanistan and most haven’t been able to make it back to the Untied States.

District officials said 16 adults and 24 children had traveled to Afghanistan to visit their extended families during summer break and were left without a flight back home following the Taliban’s rapid takeover of Kabul.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the families involved are on special visas for U.S. military service and that the Department of Defense considers them “allies.”

The district is in contact with the families and reached out to Rep. Darrell Issa for help in getting the group out of Afghanistan before the U.S. airlift ends.

“I’m working diligently to determine the best ways to help those trapped return home safely. I won’t stop until we have answers and action,” Issa tweeted on Wednesday.

Michael Serban, head of the school district’s Family & Community Engagement program for immigrant students, said one of the six stranded families — comprising four students, a 2-year-old child and two adults — has made it out and returned safely to El Cajon.

The district is one of the most ethnically diverse in San Diego County with many students having ties to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other Middle Eastern countries.

Defense officials said Wednesday that in the previous 24 hours, 90 U.S. military and other international flights had evacuated 19,000 people, bringing the total evacuation number so far to about 88,000.

About 10,000 people remain at the airport, but it’s known how many Americans and allies have been unable to get there.

Updated at 8:10 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021

Reuters contributed to this article.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.