Taliban fighters have entered Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city, tightening their grip on the country as tens of thousands flee fearing their rapid advance, the Associated Press reported. The Taliban have stated that they have ordered all their forces not to enter Kabul and that they are working towards a ‘transition process’.
As part of their offensive across the country, the Taliban now controls all of Afghanistan’s border crossings, the Press reported. Currently, Kabul airport is the only way out of the country. Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Pakistan’s interior minister, told a local television channel that the Taliban had taken control of the Torkham border crossing, the last point under Afghan control.
As per the reports, the Taliban have entered the outskirts of Kabul. They said Taliban fighters were in Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman near Kabul. Their arrival at Kabul’s entrance did not result in a fight but the govt officials who worked there were sent home early on Sunday as military helicopters buzzed overhead, the Associated Press reported. According to the Taliban, they will not take Kabul ‘by force’, adding that negotiations are underway for a peaceful entry into the capital.
‘Since the capital of the Islamic Emirate, Kabul, is a large and densely populated city, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate intend not to enter the city by force or fighting, but rather by peaceful means. In the interim, negotiations continue and until the transfer process is completed in a safe and secure manner, no one’s head, property or honor should be damaged, and the lives of the citizens of Kabul should not be endangered,’ the Taliban stated.
The transfer will take place peacefully
According to the Acting Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzkwal, the transfer of the Afghan capital to Kabul will be peaceful. ‘Afghanistan’s security forces are responsible for ensuring Kabul’s safety. ‘The forces will ensure the safety of civilian lives in the capital city’, he said.
The Taliban rule in the province of Jalalabad
Approximately 90 kilometers from Kabul, the Taliban captured the capital of the Maidan Wardak province on Sunday. Kabul and six other province capitals remain under central government control. The Taliban also occupy Jalalabad, near a key Pakistani border crossing. In a statement released Saturday, the Taliban said their rapid gains showed their popularity and reassured both Afghans and foreigners that they would be safe.
Activates evacuation button
The US has begun evacuating its officials from its embassy in Kabul due to a looming security threat. Associated Press reports that helicopters landed at the US Embassy in Kabul as diplomatic vehicles departed. The embassy also instructed its staff to destroy sensitive data in compliance with the ‘Emergency Destruction Services’ protocol. US troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan in a few weeks.