Afghanistan President, Ashraf Ghani Flees Country As Taliban Take Over Kabul (Video/Photos)

Afghanistan President, Ashraf Ghani Flees Country As Taliban Take Over Kabul
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani attends a security meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 14, 2021. (Reuters Photo)

President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan has on Sunday fled the country as the Taliban move further into the country’s capital, Kabul in their bid to take over, according to officials.

MDB earlier reported that Taliban fighters entered Kabul and are seeking a ‘peaceful transfer of power‘ with gunfire heard near the presidential palace as the extremists seized huge swathes of Afghanistan which is on the brink of collapse.

Read Also: Taliban Enter Kabul, Seek Transfer Of Power As US Evacuates From Afghanistan

The officials, one from former President Hamid Karzai’s office and another an aide on the Afghan security council, told The Associated Press that Ghani departed on Sunday.

A Taliban fighter sits inside an Afghan National Army (ANA) vehicle along the roadside in Laghman province on Sunday

Ghani left along with his National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib and a second close associate. Vice-president Amrullah Saleh is also reported to have fled. It wasn’t immediately clear where they went.

The President has come under increasing pressure to resign as major cities around Afghanistan have fallen to Taliban militants over the course of 10 days.

Shooting is being reported in several parts of Kabul, Reuters reports, citing witnesses and the interior ministry.

The new development comes as invading war chiefs head to presidential palace to demand ‘transfer of power‘ after militants take Bagram air base and free 5,000 loyal prisoners.

Taliban fighters stand armed with guns in Laghman province after making major gains across Afghanistan in the wake of the US departure. Photo: AP

Footage posted online by a pro-Taliban news agency appears to show inmates being freed from the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul – the largest prison in Afghanistan.

Earlier on Sunday, Taliban forces overran the military prison at the former Bagram US air base.

Taliban and extremist fighters, including those belonging to the Islamic State, were among the inmates being held at Bagram prison.

The militants were seen in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman hours after taking control of Jalalabad, the most recent major Afghan city to fall to the insurgents as they make huge gains across Afghanistan.

Afghan passengers walk toward the airport in Kabul after the Taliban made huge gains across the country in the wake of the US military departure. Photo: AP.

Taliban have also ordered their fighters to enter parts of Kabul to prevent looting, their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said, according to Afghan TV network Tolo.

Because security forces had left parts of the city and their checkpoints, Taliban forces were going in to prevent chaos and looting, he added.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called a Cobra meeting later on Sunday to discuss the worsening situation in Afghanistan.

Cobra is an emergency response committee, involving ministers, civil servants and others personnel relevant to the subject under discussion.

Taliban forces patrol a street in Herat, Afghanistan August 14, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

Parliament will be recalled from its summer recess on 18 August, the House of Commons have confirmed.

The insurgent’s regaining of control comes as U.S. forces continued to evacuate staff from the U.S. Embassy. Defense officials told Reuters on Sunday that the military was working to move people to the airport quickly.

This is the same for other countries with presences in the region, though a core group of U.S. diplomatic staff is expected to remain at Kabul Airport “for as long as possible given security conditions,” AP reports.

Thousands of civilians are also living in parks and open spaces in Kabul. While the city appeared calm Sunday, some ATMs have stopped distributing money.

Hundreds of people also gathered in front of private banks, trying to withdraw their life savings.

Afghans wait in long lines for hours to try to withdraw money in front of Kabul Bank after the Taliban sought to gain control of the capital. Photo: AP.

In April, US President Joe Biden announced that the country would pull its troops out of Afghanistan after two decades, but their takeover took place far quicker than anticipated, with U.S. military intelligence reportedly predicting just days ago they Taliban could retake Kabul within three months.

Taliban previously retreated from Kabul in 2001 after the U.S. initially imposed a military presence in the region in the wake of September 11—nearly exactly 20 years before the fall of Kabul taking place now—after taking control of the city in September 1996.

Via DailyMail.

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