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Taliban close to gates of Kabul as embassies put together for evacuations

KABUL: The Taliban seized extra main cities on Friday (Aug 13) as they raced to take full management of Afghanistan and inched nearer to Kabul, with the US and Britain deploying hundreds of troops to evacuate their residents from the capital.

The evacuation orders got here because the Taliban took management of Kandahar – the nation’s second-biggest metropolis – within the insurgency’s heartland, leaving solely Kabul and pockets of different territories in authorities palms.

The Taliban additionally captured the capital of Logar province, simply 50km from Kabul, with an area lawmaker saying the insurgents have been in full management of Pul-e-Alam metropolis.

Earlier Friday, officers and residents in Kandahar informed AFP that authorities forces had withdrawn en masse to a army facility exterior the southern metropolis.

“Kandahar is totally conquered. The Mujahideen reached Martyrs’ Sq.,” a Taliban spokesman tweeted, referring to a metropolis landmark.

Hours later, the Taliban stated they’d additionally taken management of Lashkar Gah, the capital of neighbouring Helmand province.

A safety supply confirmed the autumn of the town, telling AFP that the Afghan army and authorities officers had evacuated Lashkar Gah after hanging an area ceasefire cope with the militants.

The federal government has now successfully misplaced many of the nation following an eight-day blitz into city centres by the Taliban that has additionally shocked Kabul’s American backers.

The primary wave of the offensive was launched in early Could after the US and its allies all however withdrew their forces from Afghanistan, with President Joe Biden decided to finish twenty years of conflict by September 11.

‘NOT ABANDONMENT’

Biden insists he doesn’t remorse his determination, however the pace and ease of the Taliban’s city victories in current days has been a shock and compelled new calculations.

Washington and London introduced plans late Thursday to drag out their embassy workers and residents from the capital.

“We’re additional decreasing our civilian footprint in Kabul in mild of the evolving safety state of affairs,” US State Division spokesman Ned Worth informed reporters, whereas noting the embassy would stay open.

“This isn’t abandonment. This isn’t an evacuation. This isn’t the wholesale withdrawal.”

The Pentagon stated 3,000 US troops can be deployed to Kabul inside the subsequent 24 to 48 hours, underscoring they might not be used to launch assaults in opposition to the Taliban.

NATO was additionally set to carry an pressing assembly in a while Friday concerning the deteriorating state of affairs, diplomatic and official sources informed AFP.

Secretary Common Jens Stoltenberg will lead discussions with envoys from the 30 allies, with one supply saying it will deal with evacuation planning.

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