The Taliban are celebrating their return to power after they took charge of Kabul airport following the departure of the last US troops from Afghanistan.
The Afghan group said on Tuesday Afghanistan is now a “free and sovereign” nation as it hailed the exit of US troops, describing their departure as a “historic moment”.
The departure of the U.S. cargo planes marked the end of a massive airlift in which tens of thousands of people fled Afghanistan, fearful of the return of Taliban rule after the militants took over most of the country and rolled into the capital earlier this month.
Taliban fighters swept into the airport and fired weapons into the sky across the city in jubilation – an astonishing return after US forces invaded in 2001 and toppled them for their links to al-Qaeda, which was blamed for the 9/11 attacks.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, thousands of locals and Taliban were seen celebrating on streets after the complete United States military withdrawal after two long decades.
Taliban also carried out mock funeral of US and NATO in provinces of Khost and Kandahar after the last flight left on Monday night.
With its last troops gone, the U.S. ended its 20-year war with the Taliban back in power. Many Afghans remain fearful of their rule or of further instability, and there have been sporadic reports of killings and other abuses in areas under Taliban control despite the group's pledges to restore peace and security.
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