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The Taliban is cementing its control of Afghanistan after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Ghani released a message to Afghanis explaining why he left the country before militants could seize control of the Presidential Palace.
The world leader explained that he faced a 'hard decision' between an 'armed Taliban' and 'leaving the dear country that I dedicated my life to protecting the past 20 years'.
He said: "If left unchecked, countless patriots would be martyred and the city of Kabul would be devastated, resulting in a major humanitarian catastrophe in the six-million-strong city.
"The Taliban had made it clear that they were ready to carry out a bloody attack on all of Kabul and the people of Kabul to oust me. In order to prevent a flood of bloodshed, I decided to leave."
The militant group has now seized control of 11 districts of Kabul as well as large swaths of the country as international military forces had started pulling out of the region following a decades-long war.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told the BBC they were in talks with Afghani officials about a peaceful takeover of power.
The country's Interior Minister, Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal, hoped the transition will be peaceful.
"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 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."
Local police forces have reportedly deserted their positions and the Taliban has reportedly sent in soldiers to prevent looting.
US President Joe Biden has committed 1,000 more troops to the region to help airlift embassy personnel and Afghan allies.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said work is underway to evacuate as many British nationals from Afghanistan as possible.
Canada has announced it will accept up to 20,000 Afghani refugees an the Australian military is preparing a dangerous mission to urgently evacuate hundreds of people from the country.
Thousands of Afghanis have raced to Kabul Airport and the border with Pakistan to evacuate over fears there will be mass bloodshed with the arrival of the Taliban.
An official at the airport said: "The airport is out of control... the (Afghan) government just sold us out."
A person told the BBC he had walked for five hours to escape the country, adding: "My feet hurt, they have blisters and I'm finding it difficult to stand.
"Now that I'm leaving, I think about my family - they don't have any way to escape. I don't see a future."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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