Afghanistan: Taliban has entered capital Kabul, reports say
The Taliban has entered Afghanistan's capital Kabul, and there seems to be little resistance from the country's security forces, reports said. The insurgents had seized the eastern city of Jalalabad Sunday morning, leaving only Kabul and some smaller territories in the hands of the government. The terror group is now spectacularly close to taking over entire Afghanistan as foreign armed forces complete their withdrawal.
'We woke up this morning to Taliban flags'
"We woke up this morning to the Taliban white flags all over the city. They entered without fighting," said Jalalabad resident Ahmad Wali, according to news agency AFP. The latest capture has triggered fear among the residents of Kabul and the tens of thousands who have sought refuge there. "I am crying day and night," Muzhda, 35, currently living in Kabul, told the agency.
Taliban had earlier captured Mazar-i-Sharif
On Saturday, the insurgents had taken control of Mazar-i-Sharif, once an anti-Taliban bastion, in a massive jolt to the government. President Ashraf Ghani had just days ago visited that city to rally his troops. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken with Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Chairman Abdullah Abdullah about the situation, reports said citing officials.
US orders 1,000 more troops to aid evacuations
Separately, United States President Joe Biden has authorized the deployment of 1,000 additional troops to Afghanistan for the evacuation of American and allied personnel. They will also help evacuate Afghans who worked with the US military over the past two decades. Besides, the United Kingdom, India, and other countries are also rushing to evacuate their diplomats and nationals from Afghanistan.
Ghani said he would not allow more violence
On Saturday, Afghanistan President Ghani said his government would prevent further violence and displacement in the country. He added that regrouping of the nation's armed forces was his "top priority." "I will not allow the imposed war on Afghans to bring further killings," he said in a televised address. Ghani has notably been facing pressure to resign from the post.
What led to this situation in Afghanistan?
The situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated dramatically since May, when the US and its allies began pulling out troops from the country after 20 years of war. The withdrawal exercise is set to be completed in a matter of weeks, and US officials say the decision is final. US-led troops had invaded Afghanistan in 2001 following the deadly 9/11 attacks on American soil.