UpdateThe Afghan Interior Ministry said the Taliban had invaded Kabul. The Taliban themselves say their fighters have been ordered not to enter the Afghan capital yet. A spokesman for Muslim extremists wrote on Twitter: “The Islamic Emirate orders all its forces to stop at the gates of Kabul.” The capital was the only major city not yet under Islamic extremist organization. Among other things, it forces the United States to quickly bring its citizens to safety. President Joe Biden has warned of a “military response” if American personnel are at risk. Insiders told Saudi Arabia news channel that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will resign within hours.
The Taliban are said to be present in Kalkan, Karabakh and Bagman districts. There will be no fight yet. The Taliban themselves said they had ordered all their soldiers to stop “at the gates of Kabul”. Negotiations are underway to ensure a safe transition without jeopardizing anyone’s life, property or honor.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed to the BBC that talks were underway on a peaceful transfer of power. According to the Associated Press, Taliban negotiators are on their way to the presidential palace to negotiate the transfer of power.
In turn, the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stated on Twitter that despite the “intermittent” shooting, there was no doubt about an attack on the capital. According to Ghani, the situation in Kabul is “under control.” The BBC quoted the report as saying: “The country’s security and defense forces are working with international partners to ensure the city’s security.”
Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya news channel reported that the president will resign within hours, according to informed sources. It was previously reported that Ghani is currently consulting with US and NATO officials on what to do.
Evacuations in Kabul
Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, helicopters are flying back and forth to evacuate diplomats and staff as quickly as possible. Huge Chinook helicopters and high-speed Black Hawk helicopters were deployed to transport people from the diplomatic post. An informed source told the newspaper that essential employees who were supposed to remain at the embassy will be evacuated. They are taken to the capital’s airport, where they stay indefinitely.
Soldiers, diplomats and civilians from all over the world gather at that airport. According to the newspaper, they will receive a special wristband if they qualify for an evacuation flight. Sources told CNN that the United States will withdraw all of its embassy staff within 72 hours, including several senior officials. The US Chargé d’Affairs in Afghanistan, Ross Wilson, is currently working out of the airport. Reuters previously reported that the US embassy wants to limit the number of employees in Kabul to less than 50 for now.
hard jaw beat
Local authorities said that Muslim extremists captured the important city of Jalalabad in the east without a fight earlier in the day. As a result, the Taliban also controlled the roads linking the country to Pakistan.
“There is currently no fighting in Jalalabad because the governor surrendered to the Taliban,” a local official told Reuters news agency. Allowing the Taliban access was the only way to save civilian lives.
On Saturday, the Taliban had already captured the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Baloch province and the fourth largest city in the country. Security forces fled to the border with Uzbekistan. The fall of Mazar-i-Sharif is seen as disastrous for the Afghan government, which has now largely lost control of the north of the country. It was precisely the north that was the stronghold of the Taliban’s opponents.
‘Consultations are moving forward’
Speaking to the nation this morning, President Ghani said talks are underway to quickly reach a political solution that guarantees “peace and stability” in Afghanistan. He also called for the re-mobilization of the Afghan armed forces. According to Ghani, “consultations”, which are “rapidly progressing”, have been launched within the government, with local political officials and international partners. The president added, “Remobilizing our security forces is our number one priority.”
Meanwhile, three local politicians reported the fall of Sharana, the capital of eastern Paktika province. The extremist Islamic Taliban movement managed to capture the city without a fight. The influential elders of the province are said to have mediated between the rebels and the authorities to avoid “bloodshed”.
The government announces the death of a military commander
Meanwhile, the Afghan Interior Ministry said a senior Taliban military commander was killed in the battle of Maimana. In addition, at least 26 members of the extremist Islamic group were killed. According to the ministry, the army and civilians repelled an attack on the city. Maimana is the capital of Northern Faryab Province. About 70,000 people live in the city.
Due to the rapid advance, Taliban extremists obtained many weapons and vehicles from the Afghan army. On social media, fighters flaunt weapons, often from the United States. Members of US intelligence say that the scenario of the Taliban receiving weapons was considered during the delivery, just as the Islamic State had done before in Iraq. However, the speed at which it was currently happening would have been an absolute doomsday scenario.
More and more countries evacuate their embassy staff from the Afghan capital, Kabul, and the Taliban seizes the second and third largest city in the country
Afghan Belgians worry about their families in Afghanistan, as the Taliban gains more and more strength: ‘You can’t even laugh out loud’
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