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Afghan president vows to cease bloodshed as Taliban shut in on Kabul

“CRYING NIGHT AND DAY”

For Kabul residents and the tens of 1000’s who’ve sought refuge there in latest weeks, the overwhelming temper was considered one of confusion and concern.

Muzhda, 35, a single lady who arrived within the capital along with her two sisters after fleeing close by Parwan, mentioned she was terrified for the long run.

“I’m crying day and night time,” she advised AFP

“I’ve turned down marriage proposals prior to now … If the Taliban come and power me to marry, I’ll commit suicide.”

UN Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres mentioned he was “deeply disturbed” by accounts of poor therapy of girls in areas seized by the Taliban, who imposed an ultra-austere model of Islam on Afghanistan throughout their 1996-2001 rule.

The size and velocity of the Taliban advance have shocked Afghans and the US-led alliance that poured billions into the nation after toppling the insurgents within the wake of the Sep 11 assaults almost 20 years in the past.

Days earlier than a remaining US withdrawal ordered by President Joe Biden, particular person Afghan troopers, models and even entire divisions have surrendered – handing the Taliban much more autos and army {hardware} for his or her lightning advance.

“NO IMMINENT THREAT”

Regardless of the frantic evacuation efforts, the Biden administration continues to insist {that a} full Taliban takeover shouldn’t be inevitable.

“Kabul shouldn’t be proper now in an imminent risk atmosphere,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned Friday, whereas acknowledging that Taliban fighters had been “attempting to isolate” town.

The Taliban offensive has accelerated in latest days, with the seize of Herat within the north and, simply hours later, the seizure of Kandahar – the group’s religious heartland within the south.

Asadabad, the capital of Kunar within the east, additionally fell on Saturday, because the Taliban tightened the noose.

On Ghani’s TV speech, Kabul-based analyst Sayed Naser Mosawi mentioned it appeared the president was working out of choices.

“The president’s message was not definitive sufficient to say he’s prepared to struggle on to the top, however somewhat to me it sounds that he could also be prepared to provide into some kind of settlement – if that does not imply give up,” he added.

On Saturday, helicopters flitted backwards and forwards between Kabul’s airport and the huge US diplomatic compound within the closely fortified Inexperienced Zone – 46 years after choppers evacuated People from Saigon, signalling the top of the Vietnam Struggle.

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