Conflicts & War

Taliban political chief Mullah Baradar declares victory, end of Afghan war

Kabul, Aug 16 (EFE).- Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar Monday declared victory and end to the decades-long war in Afghanistan, a day after the insurgents entered Kabul to take control of the country.

Baradar, who heads the Taliban political office in Qatar, released a short video message after President Ashraf Ghani fled and conceded that the insurgents had won the 20-year war.

“We have achieved a victory that was not expected,” he said, urging his fighters to “show humility in front of Allah,” he said in his victory speech, the first public statement by a Taliban leader after the conquest of the country.

On the first day under the Taliban, since the US invasion in 2001, Baradar said it was the “time of test.”

“It is about how we serve and secure our people, and ensure their future and good life to the best of our ability.”

“We have achieved a victory that was not expected. We must show humility before Allah,” he said.

Amid concerns that the insurgents would resort to ransacking the Kabul neighborhoods in celebrations of their victory, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said the group “ordered” its men not to enter any house “without permission.”

“Life, property and honor of none shall be harmed but must be protected by the mujahideen.”

The Taliban seized control of Kabul Sunday after its fighters entered the capital without meeting any resistance from Afghan troops, with almost all provinces under their control and the capital under siege.

Taliban fighters with rifles slung on their shoulders patrolled the Kabul streets on Monday morning.

Local media released dramatic images of thousands of people at Kabul airport trying to flee the country, despite restrictions and the cancellation of most commercial flights.

The United States embassy in Kabul again asked its citizens and the people waiting for repatriation not to approach the airport due to security concerns until asked to board their flights.

The collapse occurred in a matter of weeks, after the United States-led foreign forces began the final phase of withdrawal on May 1, handing over all their military bases to the Afghans troops.

Ghani blamed Washington for the crisis weeks ago.

He said it was due to the abrupt departure of the international troops and the US-coordinated peace process for reconciliation based on “immature theories.”

After secretly fleeing to an unknown destination and without a public resignation, Ghani said last night, in a statement, that he stepped down from power “to avoid bloodshed.”

He said the Taliban were ready to attack Kabul to overthrow him.

With the departure of Ghani, a group of political leaders on Sunday formed a coordination council for the transition of power.

The council consists of former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, President of the High Council for Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, and the Hizb-e-Islami leader and former warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

However, the insurgents have elaborated on the transition process or the seizure of power. EFE

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