Conflicts & War

Kabul limps back to normalcy under Taliban control, evacuation flights resume

Kabul, Aug 17 (EFE).- The Afghan capital gradually began returning to normalcy Tuesday as an eerie silence engulfed the otherwise noisy city on the second day of the Taliban control after a swift collapse of the government.

The insurgents declared a general amnesty, urging employees to return to work to ward off fears after the insurgents took over the control following a blitz across the country.

Traffic moved on the Kabul streets as citizens began their routine two days after President Ashraf Ghani fled out of the country.

Hospitals and healthcare centers opened as traffic officers were seen on the streets managing the vehicular movement on the busy Kabul roads.

“The situation in Kabul is under control,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted.

He said the insurgents arrested some mischievous people.

But local media and journalists reported that the insurgents were conducting house searches and frisking people on the roadside.

Taliban commander Sayyid Mawlawi Muhammad Yaqoub said the group had asked its fighter not to enter any house or confiscate government properties.

The Taliban released videos that showed a leader addressing a hospital staff, including women, and urging them to return to their jobs.

The insurgents assured that they had guaranteed the security of diplomatic and humanitarian missions in the country.

TV channel Tolo News showed a female presenter, her head covered with a hijab, interviewing a Taliban leader.

Channel head Miraqa Popal also tweeted screen grabs of the program, showing Beheshta Arghand “interviewing a Taliban media team member (Mawlawi Abdulhaq Hemad) live in our studio.”

Having a woman host a TV show was unimaginable during the previous Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001 when the Islamist insurgents had banned females from working.

Many other female journalists also tweeted about how they reported live from the Kabul streets.

Meanwhile, flights from the chaotic Kabul international airport resumed Tuesday after security forces drove the people away who had gathered trying to escape the war-ravaged country.

The airport is under the control of the United States forces.

“As of this morning, military flights resumed. I cannot speak for civilians flights, but I suspect (none of them has taken off),” a US military spokesperson told EFE, requesting anonymity.

US forces secured the airport to evacuate its citizens and embassy staff from Afghanistan.

“The situation is calm and under control,” Elham, an employee of the Afghan private airliner, Kam Air, told EFE.

“The domestic flights have not been resumed. We hope the Kam Air flights will resume in two or three days.”

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