Taliban fighters entered the outskirts of the Afghan superior connected Sunday, further tightening their grip connected the state arsenic panicked workers fled authorities offices and helicopters landed astatine the U.S. Embassy.
Three Afghan officials told The Associated Press that the Taliban were successful the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman successful the capital. The militants aboriginal pledged not to instrumentality Kabul “by force” arsenic sporadic gunfire could beryllium heard successful the capital.
“No one’s life, spot and dignity volition beryllium harmed and the lives of the citizens of Kabul volition not beryllium astatine risk," the Taliban said.
In a nationwide violative that has taken conscionable implicit a week, the Taliban has defeated, co-opted oregon sent Afghan information forces fleeing from wide swaths of the country, adjacent though they had immoderate aerial enactment from the U.S. military.
The lightning velocity of the Taliban violative has shocked galore and raised questions astir wherefore Afghan forces crumbled contempt years of U.S. grooming and billions of dollars spent. Just days ago, an American subject appraisal estimated it would beryllium a period earlier the superior would travel nether insurgent pressure.
Rapid shuttle flights of Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters adjacent the embassy began a fewer hours aboriginal aft the militants seized the adjacent metropolis of Jalalabad. Diplomatic armored SUVs could beryllium seen leaving the country astir the post.
The U.S. State Department did not instantly respond to questions astir the movements. However, wisps of fume could beryllium seen adjacent the embassy's extortion arsenic diplomats urgently destroyed delicate documents, according to 2 American subject officials who spoke connected information of anonymity due to the fact that they were not authorized to sermon the situation.
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, which typically transportation equipped troops, aboriginal landed adjacent the embassy arsenic well. The U.S. decided a fewer days agone to nonstop successful 3,000 caller troops to assistance evacuate immoderate unit from the U.S. Embassy.
The Czech Republic besides approved a program to statesman withdrawing their Afghan unit from their embassy aft earlier taking their diplomats to Kabul International Airport.
President Ashraf Ghani, who spoke to the federation Saturday for the archetypal clip since the violative began, appears progressively isolated arsenic well. Warlords helium negotiated with conscionable days earlier person surrendered to the Taliban oregon fled, leaving Ghani without a subject option. Ongoing negotiations successful Qatar, the tract of a Taliban office, besides person failed to halt the insurgents' advance.
Thousands of civilians present unrecorded successful parks and unfastened spaces successful Kabul itself, fearing the future. Some ATMs stopped distributing currency arsenic hundreds gathered successful beforehand of backstage banks, trying to retreat their beingness savings.
Gunfire erupted astatine respective points, though the Afghan presidency sought to downplayed the shooting.
“The defence and information forces on with the planetary forces moving for the information of Kabul metropolis and the concern is nether control,” the presidency said amid the chaos.
Akhgar and Faiez reported from Istanbul and Gambrell from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Joseph Krauss successful Jerusalem and James LaPorta successful Washington contributed to this report.