Kabul Occupants Pull Out Cash, Escape City As Taliban Progresses

 

Many Kabul citizens are fearful as Taliban fighters infiltrate the Afghan capital and President Ghani flees the country.

Kabul Occupants Pull Out Cash, Escape City As Taliban Progresses

Afghans wait in long lines for hours to withdraw money in front of a bank in Kabul. [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

 

 

 

 

 

Thousands of Kabul residents hurried to banks to withdraw money from their accounts, as Taliban fighters arrived the city on Sunday demanding the absolute surrender of the central government.

Afghans and foreigners alike also raced to exit the city, signalling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking Afghanistan.

Civilians fearing that the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule that all but eliminated women’s rights rushed to leave the country, lining up at cash machines to withdraw their life earnings.

As he came to pick up his salary, Bostan Shah, a 24-year-old who was serving as a policeman in Kandahar told The Associated Press news agency that “the government is not solving our problems”.

Another policeman, 32-year-old Abdul Mossawer, complained about the wait outside the bank, saying bank workers repeatedly came out and gave various reasons for the delay.

The Afghan government, meanwhile, had hoped for an interim administration but unfortunately had few cards to play.

The Taliban said it would soon announce the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace, as Afghanistan’s embattled president fled the country on Sunday.

Helicopters flew overhead to depart personnels from the US embassy, while smoke rose near the compound as staff destroyed important documents. Several other Western missions also prepared to pull their people out.

In a stunning rout, the Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week, despite the billions of dollars spent by the US and NATO over nearly 20 years to build up Afghan security forces.

Just days before, an American military assessment estimated it would be a month before the capital would come under Taliban pressure.

Kabul Occupants Pull Out Cash, Escape City As Taliban Progresses

Afghans sit on the wall as people wait for hours to withdraw money. Officials say Taliban fighters have entered Kabul and are seeking the unconditional surrender of the central government. [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

 

As a Taliban offensive encircles the Afghan capital, there is increasingly only one way out for those fleeing the war, and only one way in for US troops sent to protect American diplomats still on the ground: the airport. [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

Kabul Occupants Pull Out Cash, Escape City As Taliban Progresses

Internally displaced families from northern provinces, who fled from their homes due to the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces, take shelter in a public park in Kabul. [Hedayatullah Amid/EPA]

Kabul Occupants Pull Out Cash, Escape City As Taliban Progresses

Afghans wait in long lines for hours to get visas in front of the Iranian embassy in Kabul. [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

 

Kabul Occupants Pull Out Cash, Escape City As Taliban Progresses

Afghans who work at different offices rush to homes after news broke that the Taliban reached the outskirts of Kabul. [EPA]

Kabul Occupants Pull Out Cash, Escape City As Taliban Progresses

Afghans line a mostly shuttered market for hours to try to withdraw money from a nearby bank in Kabul. [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

Kabul Occupants Pull Out Cash, Escape City As Taliban Progresses

A passenger walks to the departures terminal of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. [Rahmat Gul/AP Photo