Taliban troops invade Kabul, however make sure the overthrow of the Afghan authorities: NPR

Smoke rises next to the US embassy in Kabul on Sunday. Taliban fighters have invaded the outskirts of the Afghan capital and are still in control of the country. Rahmat Gul / AP Hide caption

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Rahmat Gul / AP

Smoke rises next to the US embassy in Kabul on Sunday. Taliban fighters have invaded the outskirts of the Afghan capital and are still in control of the country.

Rahmat Gul / AP

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Taliban left Afghanistan just hours after insurgent troops surrounded the capital Kabul on Sunday – ensuring the collapse of the national government and the return of the insurgent group to rule for the first time in two decades.

Ghani and his immediate team have left the country, according to Afghan government sources speaking to The Associated Press, Reuters and the highly regarded local television station TOLO.

Ghani was under enormous pressure to resign and the Taliban leaders demanded his resignation and a transfer of power to a transitional government.

Earlier, the Taliban and Afghan officials said they are negotiating a peaceful transfer of power, although reports from the ground indicate much unrest.

“There is an agreement that there will be an interim administration for an orderly transfer of power,” said incumbent Interior Minister Abdul Satar Mirzakwal in a tweet news agency TOLO on Sunday.

The imminent takeover of Kabul comes as the US withdraws its troops in the country in a full retreat ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. However, in the days leading up to the Taliban’s advance on Kabul, President Biden announced that around 5,000 soldiers would be deployed into the country to step up security efforts for the evacuation of US personnel.

Taliban’s offensives have accelerated across the country in recent weeks, with religious militia claiming victory over victory in dozens of provincial capitals and other major cities. Taliban fighters headed for Kabul after conquering the eastern city of Jalalabad overnight – the last metropolitan stronghold still in government hands along a main road to the capital.

The Taliban’s advance into the Afghan capital came when helicopters landed at the U.S. embassy early Sunday, The Associated Press reported. Diplomats tried to destroy sensitive documents and sent smoke from the roof of the embassy, ​​the AP said.

A Kabul resident, whom NPR did not identify to protect his personal safety, described a chaotic situation in Kabul as Taliban forces approached the city.

“At the moment the thieves, robbers, all the looters are outside trying to loot cars – whichever is on the way,” said the woman. “My dad has just spoken to one of his friends and [there are] Shots everywhere. “

“In [our neighborhood] We have this guard with a gun and he only shot someone because people are trying to ransack houses and whoever is walking by the street, “she said.

In a statement released on Saturday, Biden said he had ordered the armed forces and intelligence services to ensure the US maintains the capability and vigilance to face future threats from Afghanistan. The president warned that the insurgent groups would face a “quick and strong” response from the US military if the Taliban threaten American personnel or American interests.

But he also said the US had done everything it could to ensure a safe Afghanistan.

“During the 20 years of our country’s war in Afghanistan, America has sent its best young men and women, invested nearly $ 1 trillion, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police officers, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained them.” their Air Force as part of the longest war in US history, ”said Biden. “Another year or five more years of US military presence would have made no difference if the Afghan military can’t or won’t hold its own country.”

The White House had not yet responded to news early Sunday that Kabul had been overtaken and a transfer of power was being negotiated.

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