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Ousted president of Afghanistan flees in a chopper loaded with cash

According to Russian official media reports on Monday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the war-torn country aboard a helicopter packed with money, but had to leave some cash behind since it couldn’t be squeezed into the chopper. On Sunday, after a sudden and unprecedented collapse of the Ghani government backed by the United States, Taliban insurgents swept Kabul, prompting the president to leave the country, along with his fellow citizens. Russian official news agency TASS quoted the Russian embassy in Kabul as saying that the 72-year-old President fled Afghanistan in a helicopter loaded with cash.

Apparently, the collapse of the regime was triggered by how Ghani fled the country. Four cars were filled with money, and they tried to cram another bag of cash into the helicopter. Some of the cash fell on the ground, a mission employee said. Russian wire service Sputnik reported that Ghani was escorted with cars filled with cash as he fled Kabul, citing TASS and Russian diplomatic mission spokesperson Nikita Ishenko.

‘Despite their best efforts, a portion of the money couldn’t fit into the helicopter. Some of the money even landed on the runway,’ Ishenko said.┬áIn his first public remarks since leaving Afghanistan, Ghani said in a Facebook post on Sunday that he faced a ‘hard choice’ between the ‘armed Taliban’ who wanted to enter the presidency or leave the country he devoted his life to protecting 20 years earlier.

‘If there were still countless countrymen martyred in Kabul and they had faced the destruction and destruction of Kabul city, a big human disaster would have occurred here. Taliban have made it a point to remove me, they are here to attack Kabul and the people of Kabul. To avoid the bloodbath, I decided to leave,’ he said.

Read more: State capital under curfew amid violence; Home Minister resigns

‘Taliban have gained legitimacy with swords and guns, but do they have legitimacy with hearts? Never in history has dry power granted legitimacy to anyone, and they will not gain legitimacy in Tajikistan,’ Ghani, who is reportedly sheltering in the neighboring country, said.

Ghani was an economist and academic who served as Afghanistan’s 14th President. In the September 28, 2019 presidential election, he was re-elected after being elected on September 20, 2014. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, but after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the militant group was driven from power by US-led forces in 2001.

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