US Evacuates Diplomats As Deadly Taliban Fighters Move To Seize Afghanistan Capital, Kabul
The United States has started evacuating diplomats from its Kabul embassy, as the Taliban took control of the key eastern city of Jalalabad.
Two officials of the US Embassy disclosed this to Reuters on Sunday.
“We have a small batch of people leaving now as we speak, a majority of the staff are ready to leave … the embassy continues to function,” one of the US was quoted as saying.
Hours after the fall of Jalalabad, helicopters could be seen repeatedly arriving and departing the US embassy in Kabul, as diplomatic armoured SUVs also left the site.
Also, the Associated Press reports that wisps of smoke seen near the embassy’s roof were a result of diplomats urgently destroying sensitive documents.
On Saturday, Kabul was plunged into darkness and communication networks appeared to be down, hampering desperate efforts by its residents to escape the bloodshed many fear could lie ahead.
It was reported that citizens are gripped with fear of street fighting or a takeover by a vengeful Taliban. Panicked residents formed long lines outside banks, hoping to withdraw their savings, and some branches appeared to have already run out of cash.
Early on Sunday, the Taliban took control of the key eastern city of Jalalabad, which means the Taliban have secured major roads connecting the country to Pakistan.
“There are no clashes taking place right now in Jalalabad because the governor has surrendered to the Taliban. Allowing passage to the Taliban was the only way to save civilian lives,” a Jalalabad-based Afghan official told Reuters
A western security official confirmed the fall of the city.
Militants posted photos online early Sunday showing them in the governor’s office in the city, the capital of Nangarhar province.
“We woke up this morning to the Taliban white flags all over the city. They entered without fighting,” said Jalalabad resident Ahmad Wali.
Jalalabad is Afghanistan’s fifth-largest city and lies to the east of the capital. Its seizure follows the fall in the north of Mazar-i-Sharif, the country’s fourth-largest city, on Saturday.
Overnight, secretary of state Antony Blinken tweeted that he had had “productive” calls with the Canadian foreign minister and Afghan officials to reach a diplomatic solution.
BREAKING: Arin, Princess Evicted From BBNaija’s House
Big Brother Naija season 6 eviction show had commenced since last week and Arin, Princess become the fourth and fifth housemate to be evicted from Biggie’s house.
Recall that Princess, Arin, Nini, Emmanuel Tega and Saskay were all nominated up for eviction last Monday.
Earlier in the show, Niyi and Beatrice were evicted from the show as Big Brother introduced 4 new housemates to the game.
Michael, Kayvee, JMK and Queen joined the show in plot viewers described as a move to spice up the show.
Breaking: Buhari, Others Isolate After UK Trip
President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his entourage have gone into isolation following their journey to the United Kingdom.
This was confirmed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Sunday.
Shehu told Vanguard that the decision of Buhari to isolate himself was in accordance with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines for international travel.
Unconfirmed reports have it that upon his arrival at the United Kingdom, the President was seen in close contact with some officials of the Nigeria High Commission in London who have allegedly tested positive for coronavirus.
Responding to The Guardian’s enquiry on the matter, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, explained that the President and members of his delegation would have to go on isolation in line with the guideline for international travels.
“Mr President and all of those on his delegation will isolate in line with NCDC guidelines for international travel. They all tested yesterday (Friday) and will follow up with another test in due course,” the Presidential Spokesman said.
President Buhari returned to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Friday, after a trip to the United Kingdom, during which he saw his doctors.
The President left Nigeria on July 26, and stayed back in the United Kingdom for a medical check-up after he had participated in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPR) 2021-2025.