Taliban militants


■ The Islamic insurgent group have captured the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, and the country’s president Ashraf Ghani is reportedly in the process of relinquishing power before an interim government, led by the Taliban, is formed, an official told news agency.

The Taliban militants released a statement on Sunday to say they did not have any plans to take Kabul by force. “No one’s life, property and dignity will be harmed and the lives of the citizens of Kabul will not be at risk,” Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said.

Forces at Bagram air base (a one-time American base) which is home to a prison housing 5,000 inmates, have surrendered to the Taliban, an Afghan official told news agency. The prison housed both Taliban and Islamic State group fighters and was considered an inevitable target for the militants.

The fighting between the Taliban militants and pro-government forces have been reported in at least five provinces in Afghanistan on Saturday. The week-long onslaught had put the militia in control of more than half of the country’s provincial capitals. Eighteen of the country’s 34 provincial capitals have already been captured by the Taliban militants. Afghan forces have also retreated from at least three districts with little resistance or without fighting stated a local official.

The situation in Afghanistan began to worsen as the U.S and NATO forces started withdrawal of their military personnel and equipment from the country which in turn demoralized government forces.

Albania’s prime minister Edi Rama stated via his Facebook page that his country will temporarily shelter hundreds of Afghans who worked with the Western peacekeeping military forces and are now threatened by the Taliban.

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