A takeover of entire Afghanistan was all but absolute as the western-backed government collapsed and the Taliban seized territories.
The U.S. and coalition countries hastily rushed through a frenzied evacuation as the night fell on Sunday.
Taliban fighters took control of the capital Monday, bringing a swift end to President Ashraf Ghani’s government and the 20-year American era in the country.
Mr Ghani fled the country and said he did so to avoid bloodshed.
A council of Afghan officials, including former President Hamid Karzai, said they would open negotiations with the Taliban over the shape of the insurgency’s takeover.
But, by the end of Sunday, the militants had all but officially sealed their control of the entire country, stranding thousands of people at the Hamid Karzai airport where commercial flights are suspended.
Scenes of chaos and panic are all over the airport which has now been taken over by the U.S. troops.
The BBC reports how American military helicopter flights evacuated the sprawling American Embassy compound in Kabul, ferrying American diplomats and Afghan Embassy workers to the Kabul military airport.
While at the civilian airport, Afghans wept as they begged airline workers to put their families on outbound commercial flights even as most were grounded in favor of military aircraft.
The New York Times reports the insurgents seized control of the city in northern Afghanistan, which was in shambles after weeks of fighting. “Power lines were down. The water supply, powered by generators, did not reach most residents. Trash and rubble littered the streets.
“The civil servants who could fix those problems were hiding at home, terrified of the Taliban,” the newspaper reported.
The militants’ commander who turned mayor has summoned some to his new office, to persuade them to return to work.
The speed of the Taliban sweep through the countryside and cities caught the world flat-footed.
American President Joe Biden authorised on Sunday an additional 1,000 U.S. troops for deployment to Afghanistan, raising to roughly 6,000 the number of U.S. troops to ensure what Biden called an “orderly and safe drawdown” of American and allied personnel.
Nearly two decades after American troops who invaded Afghanistan to root out al-Qaeda terrorists who attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. will now leave Afghans to face the prospect of complete domination by the Taliban again.
The Taliban, who promote strict Islamic Shariah law, governed Afghanistan in the 1990s. Its rule was characterised by extreme abuse of rights. Girls were not allowed to attend schools beyond age 12, and women were barred from working in offices.
In the centre of Kabul, people had begun painting over advertisements and posters of women at beauty salons, already fearing the return of the Taliban’s traditional bans against images of humans and against women appearing in public, the Times reported.
Inside the vacated presidential palace, Al Jazeera broadcast what it described as a news briefing delivered by Taliban commanders flanked by fighters with assault weapons.
The network quoted the fighters as saying they were working to secure Kabul so that leaders in Qatar and outside the capital could return safely.
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