Taliban insurgents entered Kabul on Sunday and President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed, bringing the Islamist militants close to taking over the country two decades after they were overthrown by a US led invasion.
As night fell, local television reported that multiple explosions were heard in the capital, which had been largely quiet earlier in the day. It said gunfire could be heard near the airport, where foreign diplomats, officials and other Afghans fled, seeking to leave the country.
Aid group Emergency said 80 wounded people had been brought to its hospital in Kabul, which was at capacity, and that it was only admitting people with life-threatening injuries.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani flees the country as the Taliban moves further into Kabul:
It was not yet clear where Ghani was headed or how exactly power would be transferred following the Taliban’s lightning sweep across Afghanistan.
Their advance accelerated as US and other foreign troops withdrew in line with President Joe Biden’s decision to end America’s longest war, launched after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
The spokesman for the Taliban’s political office told Al Jazeera TV that the war in Afghanistan is over and that the type of rule and form of new regime will be clear soon.
Insurgents took control of the presidential palace, two senior Taliban commanders in Kabul said.
Al Jazeera showed footage of what it said were Taliban commanders in the palace with dozens of armed fighters.
The Taliban said they had also taken control of most of the districts around the outskirts of Kabul.