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Updated on: Sunday, August 15, 2021, 11:00 PM IST

Taliban to soon declare Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from presidential palace in Kabul: Here's the story so far

Kabul: Smoke rises next to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Taliban fighters entered the outskirts of the Afghan capital on Sunday, further tightening their grip on the country as panicked workers fled government offices and helicopters landed at the embassy. Wisps of smoke could be seen near the embassys roof as diplomats urgently destroyed sensitive documents, according to two American military officials. | AP/PTI

Kabul: Smoke rises next to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Taliban fighters entered the outskirts of the Afghan capital on Sunday, further tightening their grip on the country as panicked workers fled government offices and helicopters landed at the embassy. Wisps of smoke could be seen near the embassys roof as diplomats urgently destroyed sensitive documents, according to two American military officials. | AP/PTI

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A Taliban official told Associated Press that the terrorist organisation will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace in the capital, Kabul. For the unversed, this was the name of the country under the Taliban government ousted by US-led forces after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s embattled president Ashraf Ghani left the country on Sunday, joining his fellow citizens and foreigners in a stampede fleeing the advancing Taliban and signaling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking Afghanistan.

The Taliban entered the capital early on Sunday. The militants had earlier moved into a city gripped by panic, where helicopters raced overhead throughout the day to evacuate personnel from the U.S. Embassy. Smoke rose near the compound as staff destroyed important documents, and the American flag was lowered. Several other Western missions also prepared to pull their people out.

Afghans fearing that the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule that all but eliminated women’s rights rushed to leave the country as well, lining up at cash machines to withdraw their life savings. The desperately poor — who had left homes in the countryside for the presumed safety of the capital — remained in their thousands in parks and open spaces throughout the city.

Jamil Karzai, Afganistan's former Member of Parliament, accused Ghani of betraying his country.

Talking to news agency ANI, Karzai said, "Kabul was occupied by the Taliban. I think there will be a new government in Kabul, a new settlement. So as yet, it's not clear who will be the next President, What will happen. So everyone is waiting."

When asked about Afghan President Ashraf Ghani leaving Afghanistan, he said whatever has happened is because of him. "He betrayed Afghanistan. People will not forgive him," Karzai added.

Earlier in the day, reports said that Ghani will relinquish power and an interim government led by the Taliban will be formed. Reportedly, the Taliban and Afghanistan government held talks at the Presidential palace after the terrorist organisation offered "peaceful transfer of power" without any "force". However, news agency Reuters later quoted two Taliban officials as saying that there won't be a transitional government in Afghanistan and that the insurgent group expects a complete handover of power.

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Published on: Sunday, August 15, 2021, 11:00 PM IST
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