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Ashraf Ghani leaves Afghanistan, Afghan media claim

President Ashraf Ghani has left Kabul following reports of the Taliban entering the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Afghan media have confirmed that President Ashraf Ghani has left Afghanistan.The Afghan presidency, meanwhile, said it could not comment on Ashraf Ghani’s movements for security reasons.

On the other hand, a senior Afghan Interior Ministry official said that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has left for Tajikistan.

It should be noted that independent sources have not yet confirmed the Afghan president’s departure from Kabul.

On the other hand, the British media is also claiming that Ashraf Ghani has reached Tajikistan from Kabul.

The country’s Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said there would be a “peaceful transfer of power” to a transitional government.

“The Afghan people should not worry… There will be no attack on the city and there will be a peaceful transfer of power to the transitional government,” he said in a recorded speech, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). “The safety of the city is guaranteed, there will be no attack on the city, and the agreement is such that the transition of power will take place in a peaceful manner.”

Shortly before, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told the BBC he could confirm there were talks with the presidential palace about a peaceful takeover of power. The head of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), Abdullah Abdullah, was organizing them.

Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi also said in a video address published on Facebook that he, as a representative of the armed forces, guaranteed Kabul’s security. He said it was known that President Ashraf Ghani had met with domestic politicians and had given them the responsibility to form an authoritative delegation to travel to Doha on Monday to reach an agreement with the Taliban on the Afghanistan issue.

“I assure all of you that Kabul’s security will be maintained until an agreement is reached,” Mohammadi said, as Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.

Ghani urged government forces Sunday to maintain security in Kabul, after the Taliban paused their sweeping advance on the outskirts of the capital, causing widespread panic.

“It is our responsibility and we will do it in the best possible manner. Anyone who thinks about chaos, plunder or looting will be tackled with force,” he said in a video released to media.

On Saturday, Ghani vowed to prevent further bloodshed, as Taliban fighters closed in on Kabul after routing his armed forces over the past 10 days. In a recorded address to the nation, Ghani said he wanted to stop the violence “as a historic mission”.

“I will not let the imposed war on people cause more deaths,” he said, appearing sombre and sitting before an Afghan flag. The president gave no hint he would resign or take responsibility for the calamitous military collapse, but said the armed forces could be “remobilized” and consultations were taking place to try to help end the war.

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