Chaos and anxiety in Afghanistan as the radical Taliban have taken over the country at lightning speed. To the great discomfort of the locals and the international community. It led to great chaos during evacuation missions from the airport in Kabul, with two attacks claimed by IS, as a dramatic low. Follow the situation in Afghanistan through our live blog here.
US withdrawal from Afghanistan completed, end of 20 years of attendance
Taliban: Our country is now completely independent
13.13 – Merkel: thousands of Afghans are allowed to come
Germany Germany estimates that there are still 10,000 to 40,000 people in Afghanistan who are entitled to a German residence permit, reports Chancellor Angela Merkel. These Afghans work for development organizations and, according to Merkel, have the right to come to Germany, provided they feel threatened under the new Taliban regime.
German soldiers and police units have left Afghanistan by now, but since development aid has not stopped in the country, many employees of such organizations have remained behind. Merkel says its not clear how many of these people actually want to go to Germany.
European countries are now in consultation about a temporary presence in the Afghan capital Kabul to facilitate remaining evacuations. It is not clear how these countries want to deal with that yet.
Several Western countries, including the United States, Germany and the Netherlands, carried out a chaotic evacuation from the airport in Kabul over the past two weeks. Over 120,000 people were taken from Kabul during this operation. The evacuation has come to an end by now. The last U.S. soldiers boarded the plane on Monday night, after which the Taliban took over the airport.
12.11 -Deaths from battles in the stronghold of opponents Taliban
Militia who still resist the Taliban say they have repulsed an attack on their stronghold in the Panjshir Valley. According to a spokesperson for the so-called National Resistance Forces (NRF), eight Taliban fighters died.
The Taliban has been under the foot of almost all of Afghanistan in recent months. Opponents still stand in Panjshir Province. They are headed by Ahmad Massoud, the son of the liquidated warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud. It fought the Soviet Union and the Taliban and was nicknamed Lion of Panjshir.
The NRF said Monday night battles took place at the west entrance to the valley. A resistance spokesman speculated that the Taliban might want to test the defense. The NRF itself says they didnt lose fighters, even though two people were injured.
The valley is estimated to be several thousand armed opponents of the new power lovers. It includes members of local militias and former soldiers who have not surrendered to the victorious Muslim extremists.
Large-scale battles at the Panjshir Valley remained out recently. The two parties would still negotiate with each other. There are many Taliban fighters in the area. The Taliban have not yet responded to reports about the attack on NRF positions.
09.41 — Taliban dismantle checkpoints at Kabul Airport
The Taliban have dismantled virtually all checkpoints on the road to Kabul Airport. There, Monday night, the last U.S. soldiers got on the plane, after which the extremists took possession of the airport.
Taliban leaders have now made a triumphant visit to the formerly highly secured airport. They flanked by fighters who were depicted in special unit equipment and inspected devastated American helicopters.
A Taliban elite unit called Badri 313 posed at the airport for photographs, showing American guns and the Taliban white flag.
The Americans have left dozens of armored vehicles and planes unusable before their departure. Cockpit windows have been struck in and tires shot. The C-RAM air defense system also remained behind.
The airport has been the centre of a chaotic evacuation by Western countries for the past two weeks. Many thousands of people hoping for a spot aboard an evacuation flight gathered. Many other people didnt pass checkpoints that the Taliban had set up in the area.
There was only one of those checkpoints left on the road to the airport on Tuesday, news agency AFP. Taliban guards are in the best mood there. They shake the hands of drivers and occupants of passing cars.
9.06 – “A few hundred” British in Afghanistan
In Afghanistanafter the departure of Western soldiers “several hundred” British. That said Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who told Sky News that some 5,000 other compatriots have been evacuated.
The United Kingdom and other Western countries carried out a chaotic evacuation from the airport in the Afghan capital Kabul over the past two weeks. It has come to an end by now. The last U.S. soldiers got on the plane Monday night. After that, the Taliban took possession of the airport.
In the last days of the evacuation, another bloody attack occurred at an airport entrance, the Abbey Gate. Politico news site wrote that, despite the fear of an attack, that gate was kept open longer because the British were still evacuating people.
The bombing has cost nearly 200 people, including 13 US soldiers. Raab said to Sky News that the UK has not put any pressure to keep the entrance open. “Thats simply not true.”
8.01 — US distributing picture of last military man departing from Kabul
The U.S. Army has published a photo of the last U.S. military to depart from the Afghan capital Kabul. Its Major General Chris Donahue.
The picture shows that Donahue is boarding a type C-17 transport aircraft. “The last U.S. soldier leaves Afghanistan” is in the caption on the Twitter account of the Armed Forces Central Command.
The United States completed their withdrawal from Kabul Monday night. This ended 20 years of Western military presence in the country where the fundamentalist Taliban took over power more than two weeks ago.
7.01 — Taliban call withdrawal US victory for all Afghans
Zabihullah Mujahid, the official spokesman of the Taliban, congratulated the Afghan people on Tuesday morning on the withdrawal of American troops from the country. “This victory belongs to all of us,” he said at a press conference at the airport of the Afghan capital Kabul. Mujahid called the exodus of the Americans “an important lesson for other invasion powers” and for the world.
The Taliban spokesman spoke a few hours after the last Americans left. Afghanistan is now “a free and sovereign nation,” he said. “We want to maintain good relationships with the US and the world. We welcome good diplomatic relationships with everyone.”
After the Americans left, Taliban fighters entered the airport site. They shot in the air to celebrate their victory. The fundamentalists have asked NATO Member State Turkey for technical assistance to keep the important airport running, but want to do security themselves.
The Turkish authorities have not yet agreed to the Taliban proposal. It is also unclear which airlines will operate Kabul scheduled flights as the Taliban is back in power there.
6.35 — Americans leave dozens of vehicles at Kabul Airport
The U.S. Army left dozens of aircraft and vehicles at Kabul Airport on departure. Defense guns that were still used on Monday to defeat a missile attack by the Islamic State terrorist movement has also been left behind, General Kenneth McKenzie said, after he announced that the withdrawal from Afghanistan had been completed.
According to McKenzie, its 73 planes and helicopters, 27 Humvees and about 70 armored combat vehicles, with a cost of up to one million dollars. He stressed that all equipment is “demilitarized,” or disable. “They will never be used by anyone again,” said the general.
The planes were already at the airport when the Americans started the evacuation operation two weeks ago and had already been dismantled.
6.30 — Bright: New chapter in U.S.-Afghanistan Relations
According to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the United States has “embarked on a new chapter” in Afghanistan. A few hours after the completion of the American retreat from Afghanistan on Monday night, Blinken said his country will now lead in a “new diplomatic mission.”
The withdrawal ended the USs twenty-year military presence in Afghanistan.
“The military mission is over. A new diplomatic mission has begun,” Blinken said. He did not rule out cooperation with a Taliban-led government in Kabul. “If we can work with a new Afghan government in a way that safeguards our national interest, we will.”
The US no longer has embassy in Afghanistan. Thediplomatic relations will be maintained from the embassy in Doha, Qatar.