The Taliban has taken control in Kabul, and U.S. and its allies are scrambling to leave the country.
After seizing Kabul, the Taliban declared victory in Afghanistan, bringing an end to over two decades of US-led coalition presence in the country.
The presidential mansion has been taken over by fighters. President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country as the government has crumbled. “The conflict is done,” a spokesman for the group told Al Jazeera television network.
Residents and international nationals have been attempting to flee Kabul, which has fallen into pandemonium. An eyewitness told the BBC that personnel had abandoned their desks and people were fleeing to flights at the capital’s international airport.
The pictures from Afghanistan’s international airport in Kabul reflect the country’s chaos and desperation.Hundreds, if not thousands, of Afghans crowd the airport, even the tarmac, in an apparent attempt to exit the country, according to images from the ground.
ویدیو – هجوم مردم به سوی یک هواپیمای نیروهای امریکایی در میدان هوایی کابل pic.twitter.com/7qdpHXi9Qu— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) August 16, 2021
Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of individuals are being airlifted, including dual Afghan-American citizens and Afghans who have assisted the US, but “it appears many people have just raced to the airport on their own,” according to Myre.
Kabul was the last major city in Afghanistan to resist the Taliban attack, which began months ago but has increased in recent days as they quickly grabbed control of territory, surprising many observers. After most foreign soldiers withdrew, the extremists were able to gain control.
After President Ghani escaped, the Taliban advanced into Kabul. His whereabouts are unknown, although Al Jazeera reported that he had traveled to Tashkent in neighboring Uzbekistan, citing a member of his staff. Mr Ghani said he made the painful decision to leave to avoid bloodshed in the capital city in a Facebook message addressed to Afghan citizens.
After keeping their fighters back on the outskirts of Kabul, the Taliban ordered them to enter the capital on Sunday. After security troops left portions of the capital, they declared they were going in to avoid mayhem and looting. Fighters with guns were seen inside the presidential palace, according to footage published by Al Jazeera.
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