Taliban Take Over Kabul, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Lifts Legs to Tajikistan
(SPEAKING) – After the Afghan capital was controlled by Taliban insurgents, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was forced to leave the country on Sunday (15/8/2021). He chose Tajikistan as his destination country.
He took the tough decision after Taliban forces entered Kabul from various angles.
“President Ashraf Ghani has left the capital Kabul for Tajikistan,” said a senior Afghan Interior Ministry official.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Presidential Office did not provide further information regarding Ashraf Ghani’s departure to Tajikistan.
“We can’t say anything about Ashraf Ghani’s movement for security reasons,” the Afghan presidential office said.
Meanwhile, representatives of the Taliban who are already in Kabul said they would check the whereabouts of Ashraf Ghani.
The condition of the Afghan capital is increasingly tense, because the Taliban insurgents have entered the city which is the center of the local government on Sunday (15/8/2021).
Meanwhile, at the same time, the United States (US) evacuated diplomats from its embassy by helicopter.
A senior Afghan official said the Taliban came from all directions. However, the official did not explain in more detail.
However, there are no reports of any fighting.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said they were talking to the government about the peaceful surrender of Kabul.
With the entry of the Taliban into the capital, it confirms the victory of the armed group that the US toppled 20 years ago from the peak of power after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.
The collapse of the Afghan government’s defense itself actually surprised diplomats. Because last week, US Intelligence predicted Kabul would fall in three months.
“Taliban fighters are on standby at all entrances to Kabul until a peaceful and satisfactory handover is agreed,” he said.
Meanwhile, a tweet from the Afghan presidential palace said gunshots were heard in a number of places around Kabul.
But security forces, along with international partners, have brought the situation under control.
Even so, there has been no official explanation of President Ashraf Ghani.
However, a palace official said he was talking to US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and top NATO officials.
Meanwhile, the streets of Kabul were packed with cars and people rushing home or to the airport.
“Some people left their keys in their cars and walked to the airport,” one resident told Reuters by telephone.
Another resident said many people were worried if fighting broke out.
“People are going home worried about fighting.”
Meanwhile, US officials said the diplomats had been transported by helicopter to the airport from the embassy in Wazir Akbar Khan district which is guarded by security forces.
Additional US troops are being sent to help with evacuations after the Taliban’s lightning victory over Afghan forces brought the militant group to the capital Kabul in a matter of days.
Members of the US “core” team were working from Kabul airport, a US official said, while NATO officials said some EU staff had been moved to safety in the capital whose location was not disclosed.
Earlier on Sunday, the Taliban captured the eastern city of Jalalabad without a fight putting them in control of one of the main land routes into landlocked Afghanistan.
They also took over the Torkham border post with Pakistan, leaving Kabul airport the only way out of Afghanistan.
Previously reported, a key city in eastern Afghanistan, Jalalabad has now been successfully controlled by the Taliban forces. The conquest of the territory was carried out without any resistance.
On Sunday morning (15/8/2021), Taliban forces secured roads connecting Afghanistan to Pakistan, officials said.
“There is no dispute in taking the place right now in Jalalabad, because the government itself has surrendered to the Taliban,” said the Jalalabad-based Afghan official as quoted by Antara.
The official also stated that the surrender of the city by local authorities was the only way to save civilian lives.
“Giving way to the Taliban is the only way to save the lives of civilians,” he added.
Meanwhile, Western security officials have also confirmed the fall of the city, one of the outskirts of Kabul that is still under government control.
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