- LAST MINUTE Was he afraid? Afghanistan’s president Ghani flees his country.
- Helicopters and panic seized the city of Kabul.
- ‘Everyone’ is fleeing Afghanistan just like Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.
The president of Afghanistan flees his own country amid the advance of the Taliban. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, president of Afghanistan, left the country this Sunday as well as other nationals and foreigners, who have fled the country in a stampede, according to The Associated Press.
People are fleeing the advance of the Taliban. This marks the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at reshaping the country, according to the AP. The Taliban, who waited for hours on the outskirts of Kabul, announced shortly after that they would advance further into a panicked city.
The president of Afghanistan flees his own country
Throughout the day, as helicopters passed overhead to evacuate US embassy personnel, Afghans were terrified of the advance of the Taliban. Smoke billowed near the complex as staff destroyed important documents, the AP notes.
Several other Western missions are also pulling their people out of Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s president is on the run when people fear the Taliban will re-impose the kind of brutal government that virtually eliminated women’s rights.
President of Afghanistan flees from Kabul
Thousands of other people rushed to leave the country as well, lining up in front of ATMs to withdraw their life savings. The poorest, who left their homes in the countryside thinking that the capital was safer, stayed by the thousands in parks and open spaces throughout Kabul.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani flees out of the country, two officials told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to inform journalists.
President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai of Afghanistan flees and they say “God will hold him accountable”
Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s National Reconciliation Council, later confirmed in an online video that Ghani had left. “The former president of Afghanistan left Afghanistan, leaving the country in this difficult situation,” Abdullah said.
“God will hold him accountable,” the Afghan official said. In a spectacular offensive, the Taliban captured almost all of Afghanistan in just over a week, despite hundreds of billions of dollars invested by the United States over almost two decades to reinforce Afghan security forces, AP notes.
Insurgents seize Afghanistan despite US support
Just days earlier, a US military analysis estimated that it would be a month before the capital came under pressure from insurgents. The Taliban have defeated, recruited, or fled Afghan security forces in much of the country.
This, despite the fact that the US Army provided some air support to the Afghan government. Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the TV station’s English channel Al-Jazeera that the insurgents “await a peaceful transfer of power from the city of Kabul.” The spokesperson declined to provide details on possible negotiations with the government.
They seek an unconditional surrender of the government
However, when asked what kind of deal the Taliban wanted, Shaheen acknowledged that they were seeking an unconditional surrender from the central government. Taliban negotiators were heading to the presidential palace to agree on the transfer of power, according to an Afghan official who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
It was not yet clear when that handover would take place. Among the government negotiators were former President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, according to an official. Abdullah has openly criticized the fled Afghanistan president, who for a long time refused to step down from power to reach a deal with the Taliban.
The insurgents said they would not ‘mess’ with the people
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to address the details of the closed-door negotiations, described them as “tense.” Acting Defense Minister Bismillah Khan tried to reassure the population that the capital would remain “safe.”
The insurgents also tried to calm residents of the city and indicated that their fighters would not enter people’s homes or meddle with their businesses. They also announced an “amnesty” for those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign forces.
Panic spreads and everyone rushes to leave
“No one’s life, property, or dignity will suffer, and the lives of Kabul’s citizens will not be in danger,” the group said. The Taliban also warned that no one enter the area around the capital, according to The Associated Press.
Despite promises, panic began to spread and many rushed out of the country through Kabul airport, the last route out of the country after the Taliban took all border crossings. The United States began fast connecting flights from its embassy with Chinook helicopters.
Americans flee thanks to soldiers sent by Biden
Several diplomatic armored vehicles left the area of the US headquarters, says AP. The US State Department did not initially respond to questions about the movements. However, plumes of smoke were visible near the roof of the embassy as diplomats quickly destroyed sensitive documents, according to two US military sources.
The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the situation. A few hours later, the smoke thickened in the area, where there are also embassies from other countries, notes The Associated Press.
They flee in helicopters and throwing flares to avoid attacks
Later, several Black Hawk helicopters, which are often used to move troops, also landed near the embassy. At least one combat helicopter hovered overhead as helicopters fired flares to deflect possible missile fire.
The United States decided a few days ago to send thousands of troops to help evacuate embassy workers. At Kabul International Airport, Afghan forces abandoned the airfield to Western military personnel, according to a pilot who spoke on condition of anonymity to address security issues.
Afghanistan’s president was left ‘alone’ and fled
President Ghani of Afghanistan flees, after he spoke to the country Saturday for the first time since the offensive began. Several military leaders with whom he had negotiated just days earlier had surrendered to the Taliban, notes The Associated Press.
This left Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with no military options. Open negotiations in Qatar, where the insurgents have an office, also failed to stop the offensive, as thousands of civilians fled to Kabul, the news agency reported.
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