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Latest: 2 San Diego families escape Kabul, more Americans trapped

EL CAJON, Calif. — Five of the two dozen East County students who got stranded in Afghanistan while visiting family this month have made it back to San Diego County safely, their school district said.

Local officials have been trying to help the group get home since they reached out to Cajon Valley Union School District to let them know the kids would be late for the beginning of the school year, which started Aug. 17.

The district said Wednesday morning it had identified 24 students from various schools and 16 parents who were with them in Afghanistan — by evening, the school shared the news that a group accounting for five of the students had gotten out of Kabul safely.

As the Taliban tightens its control over the nation and the U.S. evacuation deadline of Aug. 31 nears, district leaders told FOX 5 they’re hopeful for similar news about the others soon.

“The families have relationships with our liaison and trusted them to communicate, ‘This is where we are at and this is what is going on, please save a spot for us.’ We then said, ‘We would like to do more than save a spot and then we reached out to the officials we knew in our government to do what they could to help us,'” said Michael Serban, the director of the district’s Family and Community Engagement Office. 

“There is just a lot of hope. We know that one family arrived today back to the United States and are home safe — we still have approximately six others — information changes, but that is where we are at right now – we are happy to have at least one family home right now.”

One of the officials tapped to help get the families out of Afghanistan is Rep. Darrell Issa. Watch his interview with FOX 5 on the effort here.