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Taliban enters Kabul after rapid takeover of Afghan territory

Taliban fighters have entered Afghanistan's capital Kabul, with the militant group now on the bri...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.33 15 Aug 2021


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Taliban enters Kabul after rap...

Taliban enters Kabul after rapid takeover of Afghan territory

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.33 15 Aug 2021


Share this article


Taliban fighters have entered Afghanistan's capital Kabul, with the militant group now on the brink of taking control of the entire country.

Reports have suggested President Ashraf Ghani has already left Afghanistan

It comes after the militants took control of Jalalabad in the east of the country overnight, leaving Kabul the only major city still in government control.

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On Sunday morning, there were a number of reports that militants had entered the outskirts of the capital.

A statement attributed to the Taliban said that their fighters had been ordered to stay at the gates of the city and not try to take it by force.

A spokesperson for the group said they were now awaiting a "peaceful transition of power".

It was later confirmed by the group that fighters had entered the city in response to "law and order" issues including looting.

Talks are said to be ongoing between negotiators from the militant group and the government.

The Afghan government earlier said there had been "sporadic" shootings in Kabul but the city had not been attacked.

They insisted the situation was under control, with the assistance of international security forces.

'Spinning out of control'

The Taliban has made rapid gains over the last week, with the UN saying the country is now "spinning out of control".

An estimated 400,000 Afghans have fled their homes in recent weeks and months.

International officials say a humanitarian crisis is now unfolding in the region, with particular concern about the impact of the conflict on women and children.

Western countries have been urgently deploying troops to Afghanistan to assist with the evacuation of diplomatic staff.

US President Joe Biden has approved additional military forces to go to the capital, to help safely draw down the American embassy and remove personnel.

However, President Biden has again defended his decision to end the US military mission in the country.

In a statement released yesterday, he said: "One more year, or five more years, of US military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country.

"An endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.

"I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth."

Amnesty International Ireland is expressing huge concern about the safety and lives of people in Afghanistan.

Executive Director Colm O'Gorman says it's time for international action.

He said: "We often see in these conflicts it's countries in the neighbourhood who are left trying to respond to the urgent need of refugees.

"Frankly, the international community needs to do more here and do more to guarantee safety... to provide safe and legal pathways to protection... to do everything they can to ensure there's humanitarian access to populations who need protection within Afghanistan."

He said there's a "highly vulnerable" population of children and young people, who are now in "extreme danger" due to the impact of the conflict.

Main image: Taliban militants are seen inside the Ghazni city, eastern Afghanistan. Picture by: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

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