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Thousands flee as Taliban takes over Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul



The Taliban has taken over Afghanistan’s Presidential palace as the militant group moves further into the capital city, Kabul

Afghanistan’s former president Ashraf Ghani fled the country only hours ago. He left officials with the duty of ‘handing over’ the palace to Taliban militants.

A Taliban security member told media that “no blood was shed in the handover”. He also said there is a “peaceful handover of government facilities ongoing across the country.”

The Taliban is a Sunni Islamist group operating throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan. The group first formed back in 1994 following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from the territory.

This comes as de facto leader Mullah Baradar has issued this message in congratulations to the Taliban on the group’s declaration of the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’.

The militant group gained power and momentum quickly and first took control of Kabul in September 1996. The group had a hold over Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

During the peak of the Taliban’s rule, it enforced strict Islamic laws on the public. It banned television, music and non-Islamic holidays.

The Taliban also banned women from receiving an education, forced them to wear full head-to-toe coverings and prohibited them from working.

Biden orders additional troops

Just moments ago, US President Joe Biden ordered the deployment of 1,000 additional troops. He said this would ensure an “orderly and safe drawdown”.

The move has brought the total number of military personnel to 6,000.

In a tweet, the White House said:

“This morning the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the drawdown of civilian personnel in Afghanistan and the ongoing security situation in Kabul.”

The US to withdraw all troops by August

Afghanistan’s fall follows Biden’s commitment to the total withdrawal of all military personnel from the country by the end of August. This has allowed the militant group to regain control of the nation.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the United States was prepared for this latest insurrection. But the Biden administration is copping a lot of criticism, particularly from the Republican party.

Michael McCaul from the House of Representatives says the decision to remove troops from Afghanistan has already stained Biden’s presidency.

The United Nations Security Council is also set to meet in the coming hours, as leaders from around the world pledge their assistance to Afghanistan

Turkey says it will work with Pakistan to help stabilise the situation. Meanwhile, the UAE is assisting with embassy evacuations in Kabul. Diplomats and other officials continue to flee the city for safety.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also said his country will continue to assist any who helped the British.

Did US occupation of Afghanistan make a difference?

There is growing shock among the US soldiers who fought tirelessly for 20 years to bring Afghanistan back to sovereignty. One former lieutenant colonel told, “this one will hurt for a long time”.

Air Force Officer, Christy Barry says: “you pour your heart into it, and at the time, it feels like you’re doing something great and you’re making a difference”. She says she now looks back on it with sadness.

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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