Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who today left Afghanistan when the Taliban were at the gates of the capital, said he had fled the country to “avoid a bloodbath”, acknowledging that “the Taliban have won”.
Without indicating where he left, Ghani declared himself convinced that “countless patriots would have been killed and Kabul would have been destroyed” if he had stayed in Afghanistan.
“The Taliban won […] and are now responsible for the honor, ownership, and self-preservation of their country,” he added, in a message posted on the social network Facebook.
“They are currently facing a new historic challenge: either they preserve the name and honor of Afghanistan, or they prioritize other places and other networks,” continued the fleeing head of state.
Ashraf Ghani did not say where he was going, but the Afghan media group Tolo suggested he may have traveled to Tajikistan.
The Taliban entered the Afghan capital today after a military-lightning offensive. Three of its senior officials have stated that the rebels have taken over the presidential palace and are holding a security council.
Abdullah Abdullah, who heads the peace process, had earlier accused Ghani of having abandoned “the people in this situation”.
Meanwhile, Al-Jazira television station is broadcasting footage of a large group of Taliban fighters inside the presidential palace in the Afghan capital.
They are now expected to announce the takeover from the palace, renaming the country the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”.
The arrival of the Taliban in Kabul precipitated Ashraf Ghani’s departure from the country, after taking control of 28 of the 34 provincial capitals in just over a week, and without much resistance from the government security forces, as part of a major offensive that had begun. in May – when the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country began, which should be completed by the end of this month.
A spokesman for the radical Islamic movement, which ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, told the BBC today that the Taliban intend to take power in Afghanistan “in the coming days” through a “peaceful transition”, 20 years after they were overthrown by a US-led coalition for their refusal to hand over al-Qaida leader Usama bin Laden after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Source: with Agencies