Afghanistan: Scores Queue For Passports, Visas, Money As Taliban Captures More Cities
Dozens of people were seen queuing to withdraw money at banks in Kabul, Afghanistan as the Taliban militants continue capturing key cities.
The Taliban has been capturing cities around the capital Kabul with the latest being
Residents of Kabul are preparing for the arrival of the Taliban after the group captured a series of local cities on Saturday and areas close as seven miles away.
Hundreds formed queues at passport centres as they tried to get their paperwork in order to leave.
Officials said many people in the capital were stocking up on rice and other food as well as first aid, and visa applications at embassies were running in the tens of thousands.
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The Taliban now controls about 24 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, leaving the Western-backed government controlling areas in the centre and east, as well as Kabul.
The insurgents have expanded substantially in the last week, taking the country’s second, third, and fourth-biggest cities with Jalalabad being the most recent to be seized.
Abas Ebrahimzada, a lawmaker from the Balkh province where the city is located, said the national army surrendered first, which prompted pro-government militias and other forces to lose morale and give up in the face of a Taliban onslaught.
Lawmaker Hoda Ahmadi said the Taliban is now in the Char Asyab district, just seven miles south of the capital.
Officials confirmed that they have taken Pul-e-Alam, the capital of Logar province, while insurgents also captured the capital of Paktika, bordering Pakistan, according to Khalid Asad, a lawmaker from the province.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani delivered a televised speech Saturday, his first public appearance since the recent Taliban gains.
He vowed not to give up the “achievements” of the 20 years since the US toppled the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks.
The US has continued holding peace talks between the government and the Taliban in Qatar this week, and the international community has warned that a Taliban government brought about by force would be shunned.
The U.S. pulled its troops out of Afghanistan leaving the government at the mercy of the Taliban.
The Joe Biden administration is evacuating staff from its embassy with reports saying they aim to have finished the process by Tuesday.