Taliban Fighters Enter Kabul, Call for ‘Peaceful Transfer of Power’

Taliban Fighters Enter Kabul, Call for ‘Peaceful Transfer of Power’

Armed men attend a gathering to announce their support for Afghan security forces and that they are ready to fight against the Taliban on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, June 23, 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

Taliban fighters surrounded Kabul and entered the city’s outskirts on Sunday, seeking the surrender of Afghanistan’s central government, multiple outlets reported.

The Taliban said in a statement that its fighters would not take the city by force, and were negotiating with “the other side” to enter without bloodshed.

“Negotiations are under way to ensure that the transition process is completed safely and securely, without compromising the lives, property and honor of anyone,” the statement said, in a translation by Qatar’s Al Jazeera English.

“Our forces have not entered Kabul city, and we just issued a statement saying that our forces will not enter Kabul city,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Al Jazeera English. “We are talking and awaiting a peaceful transfer—a transition of the capital city.”

The arrival at Kabul comes after a Taliban offensive that began in May and gathered steam over the past week as militants conquered numerous cities previously under control of the Afghan government.

Taliban fighters already freed thousands of inmates from Kabul’s main Pul-e-Charkhi prison, according to the Wall Street Journal. Thousands of Kabul residents crowded banks on Sunday to try to withdraw money ahead of the Taliban advance. On Friday, militants took control of Afghanistan’s second- and third-largest cities, Kandahar and Herat.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul is currently evacuating personnel and will close once the evacuation is complete, according to multiple reports.

Taliban fighters have also taken Bagram Air Base, which U.S. forces evacuated last month. The base held 5,000 prisoners including members of Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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Originally Posted on: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/taliban-fighters-enter-kabul-call-for-peaceful-transfer-of-power/
By: Zachary Evans

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