The Taliban said it has directed its fighters to avoid attacking the Afghan capital, Kabul, while negotiations for a peaceful transition of power are underway.
Fighters from the armed movement entered the outskirts of Kabul, as the United States and other countries rushed to evacuate the city, and the office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the national forces were in control of the city and there was no need for people to worry.
For its part, the Taliban said in a statement that the Islamic Emirate directs all its forces to remain at the gates of Kabul, and not to attempt to enter the city. The statement added that negotiations are underway to ensure that the transition process is completed safely and securely, and without endangering the lives, property and honour of anyone.
The Associated Press reported that Taliban fighters were present in three districts of Kabul, according to three officials who declined to be identified. The agency reported earlier that helicopters had landed in the US embassy compound on Sunday morning.
This comes after US President Joe Biden reinforced the deployment of US forces in an attempt to ensure what he called a safe and orderly withdrawal, and that the rapid domino-like fall of the cities of Afghanistan in the hands of extremist forces has led to escalating criticism from both the Democratic and Republican parties of Biden’s strategy, and raised a shock to many American officials.
Biden authorized another 1,000 troops to join the 3,000 Marines and Soldiers that had already been announced, along with 1,000 troops already at the airport and at the US Embassy in Kabul, a defence official said.