Afghan Taliban occupies Kabul as president Ghani flees the country

Monday, August 16, 2021

On Sunday, the Taliban moved into Kabul, the Afghan capital. Reports say they have seized the presidential palace. The move comes as Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul, possibly for Tajikistan or Uzbekistan, according to The Independent.

According to the previous report by the BBC, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban had been ordered to enter parts of Kabul for security purposes, as security forces had recently left. He said, "Our forces are entering Kabul with all caution" and that the militants were told not to hurt the public or enter their homes.

The United States has responded by deploying 5000 soldiers to help remove their embassy staff and the Afghans who assisted them, while around 600 British soldiers have been deployed for similar purposes, the BBC stated. Other countries are in the process of removing their own citizens from the country.

The US recently retreated from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of occupation. The US president Joe Biden said, "endless American presence in the middle of another country's civil conflict" could not be justified. Many Afghan civilians have also recently fled to Kabul to escape growing Taliban control, with the Taliban controlling the majority of the country's territory. Many residents have fled to the city's airport to leave the country, including some who abandoned their cars in traffic jams and opted to walk instead.

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