Taliban announces safe passage for Kabul residents and women

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Taliban announces safe passage for Kabul residents and women

KABUL – Taliban, who are an inch closer to a complete military takeover of Afghanistan, entered the country's capital on Sunday, Afghan interior ministry official said.

The Taliban group ordered its fighters to refrain from violence, allow safe passage to anyone seeking to leave, and request women to head to protected areas, reports quoting Taliban leader said. Fighters have arrived at Kabul's surrounding areas but have not yet entered the city, it added.

Taliban spokesperson while speaking with a foreign agency said “We do not want to kill innocent, isolated Afghan citizens” but he negated any ceasefire.

On the other hand, a number of government buildings have got evacuated. There were also reports that several helicopters have been landed at the presidential palace to evacuate President Ashraf Ghani and other top Afghan leaders.

Meanwhile, NATO authorities said European Union embassy staffers and envoys have been shifted to an undisclosed, safe location while a US official confirmed that an estimated 50 employees of the embassy are present in Kabul, as the Taliban close in on the capital city.

Earlier, the Taliban took control of the key eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad without resistance, leaving the territory controlled by the crumbling government to little more than the capital Kabul.