Afghan president flees as Taliban closes in on Kabul

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President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan has fled the country, as Taliban forces close in on the capital city of Kabul.

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the high council for national reconciliation in Afghanistan, confirmed the development on Sunday.

“The former president of Afghanistan left Afghanistan, leaving the country in a difficult situation. God should hold him accountable,” the Associated Press quoted Abdullah as saying.

While Ghani’s exact location has not been officially confirmed, there are reports that he fled to Tajikistan.

Taliban fighters had earlier, on Sunday, invaded the outskirts of Kabul, demanding transfer of power.

The group has in the past few weeks, claimed over 20 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals.

Citizens and foreigners have been fleeing the south Asian country over concerns for their safety.

Suhail Shaheen, Taliban spokesperson, said they are “awaiting a peaceful transfer of Kabul city”.

In 2001, US-led forces removed the Taliban from power, but the group has returned, asking to take over the central government.

On August 6, they gained control over Zaranj, the regional capital, and have intensified their advances across the country in the past 10 days.

On Thursday, the insurgent group took over Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern province of Helmand, after gaining control of Kandahar and Herat, the second and third largest cities in the country.

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