Taliban start entering Kabul from all sides: Afghan authorities

Taliban fighters have arrived at Kabul’s surrounding areas but have not yet entered the city, confirmed Afghanistan authorities Sunday. 

European Union embassy staffers and envoys have been shifted to an undisclosed, safe location, said NATO authorities. 

A US official confirmed that an estimated 50 employees of the US embassy are present in Kabul, as the Taliban close in on the capital city. 

The Taliban has already taken control of all of Afghanistan’s border crossings, leaving the Kabul Airport as the only route out of the country.

According to the ministry, the Taliban are entering the capital from all sides.

The Office of the President of Afghanistan has taken to Twitter to say that the country’s security and defence forces have the situation under control “in coordination with international partners”.

The tweet added that gunfire was heard in several remote areas of Kabul.

“We do not want to kill innocent, isolated Afghan citizens,” said a Taliban spokesperson, speaking to a foreign news agency. “We have not announced any ceasefire,” he added. 

The Taliban announced that they did not intend on entering the city through force or by using coercive means. 

A Taliban official told Reuters “we don’t want a single innocent Afghan civilian to be injured or killed as we take charge, but we have not declared a ceasefire”.

Taliban fighters were instructed to stay at the gates of Kabul and take the capital by storm, as they are negotiating a “peaceful” transition, a spokesperson for the group claimed.

The statement added that the Taliban “does not intend to take revenge on anyone, all those who have served in the military and civilian sectors in the Kabul administration are forgiven and safe, no one will be retaliated against. All should stay in their own country, in their own place and home, and not try to leave the country.”

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