The Taliban has officially taken over Afghanistan, after its forces stormed the Capital in Kabul, in what were tenses moments before the president apparently fled the country. Initially, media reports indicated that the Taliban was negotiating for peaceful handover and had asked its forces to refrain from violence in the capital.
Panic and fear gripped Kabul on Monday as heavily armed Taliban fighters took control of the abandoned presidential palace and Western nations scrambled to evacuate their citizens. Hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave the country also flooded the Kabul airport.
A spokesman for Taliban’s political office told Al Jazeera the group did not want to live in isolation and said the type and form of the new government in Afghanistan would be made clear soon.
Mohammad Naeem also called for peaceful international relations.
“Thanks to God, the war is over in the country,” he said.
“We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people,” he added. “We will not allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others.”
The fall of the Afghanistan government was quick, faster than many anticipated. Following the announcement by US president Joe Biden on the withdrawal of US forces from the country, the Taliban forces began takin over Provinces in quick succession.
Some say, the Afghani government out of corruption had inflated the numbers of soldiers the Army had since their salaries were being paid by the US. Thus, in essence, once the US soldiers were withdrawn, the country had very little resistance to the Taliban advancement.