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Taliban enters Kabul, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to step down

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As the US continues to evacuate its diplomats from Afghanistan’s Kabul, Taliban insurgents entered the capital city on Sunday. A senior interior ministry official said that the insurgents were coming from all sides, without divulging any further detail.

US officials said the diplomats were being ferried to the airport from the embassy in the fortified Wazir Akbar Khan district. More American troops were being sent to help in the evacuations after the Taliban’s lightning advances brought the Islamist group to Kabul in a matter of days.

A tweet from the Afghan Presidential palace account said firings had been heard at several points around Kabul but that security forces, in coordination with international partners, had control of the city.

Ashraf Ghani to handover power

The Taliban and the Afghan government are holding negotiations for a peaceful handing over of the government to the Taliban. Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani will hand over power to former interior minister Ali Ahmad Jalali in the coming hours.

Earlier, the Taliban said in a statement that they have ordered all their forces not to enter Kabul and they want a “transition process”. The Taliban also now hold all of Afghanistan’s border crossings amid their offensive across the country. Now, Kabul airport is the only route out of the country.

According to the report, the Taliban had taken the Torkham border crossing that represented the last post still under Afghan government control, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told a local TV channel.

Peaceful transition process

Deputy chief of the Taliban Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has arrived in Kabul and is negotiating a transfer of power at the presidential palace. Afghanistan’s acting interior minister Abdul Sattar Mirzkwal on Sunday said that Kabul will not be attacked and the transfer will take place peacefully. He says the security of Kabul is the responsibility of the security forces. He assured that Afghan forces would ensure the security of the residents in the capital city.

 

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