Taliban confirms no danger to embassies, foreign nationals in Kabul

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Following the collapse of Kabul to the Taliban, a spokesman of the insurgent group stressed that there was no danger to embassies, diplomatic missions and foreign nationals in the Afghan capital, pledging that the militant group will maintain security across the country.

“We assure all embassies, diplomatic missions, institutions and residences of foreign nationals in Kabul that there is no danger to them,” Xinhua news agency quoted Muhammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha, as saying on Sunday evening.

He stressed that the forces of the Taliban movement are tasked with maintaining security in Kabul and other cities in the country.

The announcement came as the Hamid Karzai International Airport was packed with tens of passengers awaiting flights out of the country who then took to the runway but found no plane and are still stuck there.

After days of capturing provincial capital cities, the Taliban started entering Kabul from all sides on Sunday morning.

Though the Taliban had earlier said that there is no plan to enter the Afghan capital militarily, the security vacuum in Kabul made them direct their fighters to enter and occupy the empty police outposts and police districts.

As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani along with his close aides and the first lady left Kabul for Tajikistan, the Taliban also managed to enter the Presidential Palace or Arg.

To avoid the power vacuum created after Ghani’s escape, head of High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, former President Hamid Karzai and head of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbadin Hekmatyar came together and formed a temporary council, said a Khaama Press report on Sunday night.

The council is aimed at transferring the power peacefully to the Taliban and asked Afghan security forces and forces of the Afghanistan Islamic Emirate to secure Kabul and do not allow any chaos.

The trio in their separate video clips delivered different messages to the people of Kabul.

Abdullah accused Ashraf Ghani of fleeing the country and leaving the people in a mess.

He also took to the streets of Kabul and greet the people who were hugging crying and thanked him for being with them.

While Karzai encouraged people not to panic as he and his children are still living in the Afghan capital, Hekmatyar accused Ghani of continuing the war and remaining stubborn to transfer power peacefully to a government that is acceptable to all.

The Afghanistan Islamic Emirate asked people to cooperate with them in identifying and arresting those who impersonate them and rob people and property.

Sunday night was rather quiet but there were sporadic fires and the choppers were patrolling the Afghan capital, said the news report.

–IANS

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