President Ashraf Ghani has left Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, and a source says he has fled to Tajikistan, a senior Afghan Interior Ministry official said Sunday.
For security considerations, the president’s administration said it “cannot announce anything regarding Ashraf Ghani’s movement.”
A representative of the Taliban, which entered the capital Kabul earlier, said the group was checking on president Ashraf Ghani’s locations.
Taliban insurgents entered Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. They said they expected to take power within days, promising to moderate their earlier hardline Islamist rule even as foreign diplomats and many locals tried to leave.
American diplomats were evacuated from their embassy by chopper.
A senior Afghanistan interior ministry official told the media that Taliban fighters reached the capital “from all sides.”
However, there were no reports of fighting.
The group was in talks with the Western-backed government for a peaceful surrender, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
Ali Ahmad Jalali
Three diplomatic sources said that Ali Ahmad Jalali, a US-based academic and former Afghan interior minister, could be named head of an interim administration in Kabul. However, it was unclear whether the Taliban had agreed.
Known during their past rule for keeping girls out of school and their hardline practice of Islamic law, including punishments of amputation, stoning, and hanging, the Taliban appear to be trying to project a more modern face.
Another spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the group would protect the rights of women, as well as freedoms for media workers and diplomats. Shaheen told the media, saying a transfer of power will be in a day.
A Presidential Palace official said he was in emergency talks with United States peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and the NATO transatlantic alliance officials.
Abdul Sattar Mirzakawal
The power would be handed over to a transitional administration, tweeted by the government’s acting interior minister, Abdul Sattar Mirzakawal.
Afghan Presidential Palace
Message from social handle: Tweet from the Afghan presidential palace account said the firing was heard at several points around Kabul. However, that security forces, in coordination with international partners, had control of the city.
Afghanistan Residents Reactions
Residents said many of Kabul’s streets were choked by cars and people either trying to rush home or reach the airport.