First group of Afghan refugees arrives in New Jersey

A group of evacuees fleeing the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan arrived earlier this week at a military base in New Jersey.

The Public Affairs Office of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst shared photos on Facebook Thursday of soldiers preparing for their arrival.

The first group landed at the U.S. Air Force base on Tuesday. It has the capacity to house up to 9,500 people for up to one year.

It was not clear how many Afghans had arrived via Dulles Airport in Washington, DC, or how many more would arrive. Base officials said they had not yet reached capacity.

RELATED: 4 US Marines among 13 killed in Kabul airport suicide attacks

Along with housing, the evacuees with special visas would receive food, medical treatment, and other services.

During a COVID briefing on Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said the state would receive a "significant" number of refugees.

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"We will welcome Afghan refugees with open arms here in New Jersey at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst," said Murphy in a tweet. "Our state has always served as a shining beacon of hope to the world, and we will do everything in our power to help these refugees rebuild their lives."

At least four US soldiers were killed outside the Kabul Airport Thursday during a suicide blast blamed on the Islamic State. The U.S. had a self-imposed deadline of Aug. 31 to withdraw from the country amid a massive evacuation effort.

More than 83,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan in the largest U.S. airlift in history.

RELATED: Afghans plead for faster U.S. evacuation from Taliban rule