People struggling to cross the boundary wall at Kabul’s international airport as the Taliban takes control of the city  (ANSA)

By Nathan Morley

Aug 17 2021

Thousands of people are attempting to flee Afghanistan as the Taliban enters the capital Kabul and establishes its rule over the central Asian nation.

Residents of Kabul have lived through their first full day under Taliban rule. The group entered the city on Sunday, as the government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad.

Over the weekend, the Taliban swept into Kabul and seized the presidential palace – Afghanistan is now under their control.

Civilians attempt to flee

Hundreds of civilians flooded towards the international airport as they desperately sought to leave the country.

However, the airport is now closed and commercial flights have mostly been suspended, stranding Afghans and some foreign nationals.

Several people were reported killed in skirmishes at the airfield.

Washington says all of its embassy staff have been evacuated to the airport and the British are currently evacuating their citizens.

For President Biden’s critics, his decision to wind down the US mission in Afghanistan has undone 20 years of work and sacrifice and paved the way for a humanitarian catastrophe.

There is little doubt US credibility has also taken a battering.

Taliban to form government

Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman has said the group is working to form a new government.

In the last 24-hours, more than 60 countries have issued a joint statement calling on the Taliban to allow people to leave.

Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country over the weekend, and is reportedly headed to Uzbekistan – but this is not confirmed.

Separately, China and Russia say they have no plans to close their embassies.

Beijing said it would pursue a policy of “non-interference” in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. – Vatican News