Activists are entering the capital from all sides, officials confirmed, with the government on the brink of collapse.
The Taliban say they are negotiating the “peaceful surrender” of their opponents and have called on citizens not to flee.
The organization’s founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is preparing to arrive in the country, a spokesperson in Doha said today.
But the Afghan presidential palace said it still controlled the city, saying on Twitter that gunfire was fierce in several places today.
President Ashraf Ghani is reportedly locked in emergency talks with a US peace envoy and senior NATO officials.
In the UK, Boris Johnson is expected to recall Parliament next week to discuss the crisis.
MPs will be invited to Westminster two weeks earlier after their summer vacation following the advance of Taliban forces into Kabul.
The Prime Minister was due to be on vacation this week. It is not yet clear if he cuts his own break short or to what extent.
Furious Tories have accused the UK of wasting 20 years of progress after the US and its allies withdrew their military presence after two decades.
Thousands of refugees have flocked to Kabul in recent days amid fears of violence in provinces seized by the Taliban following the withdrawal of international troops.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that the group was in talks with the government for a peaceful surrender of Kabul.
The organization said: “Taliban fighters must be on standby at all entrances to Kabul until a peaceful and satisfactory transfer of power is agreed.”
Today, the Afghan Home Office said Britain is working to protect its citizens and help other eligible former British employees leave the country.
AFP via Getty Images)
He said: ‘Officials at the Home Office (Home Office) are currently working to protect UK nationals and to help former UK employees and others who are eligible to travel to the UK. “.
In a statement, the Taliban said they did not plan to take the capital “by force”, but sporadic gunfire was heard in the capital.
Earlier today, the Islamist group seized the eastern city of Jalalabad without a fight, reducing the government-controlled area to ruins.
It follows the Taliban capture of the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif last night, also with little fighting.
Local officials said allowing the Islamist group to advance was the only way to prevent the loss of civilian lives.
A Taliban leader in Doha said the organization had ordered its fighters to refrain from violence and provide safe passage for anyone wishing to leave.
AFP via Getty Images)
A source in Jalalabad told Reuters news agency: “There are no clashes at the moment in Jalalabad because the governor has surrendered to the Taliban.
“Allowing the passage to the Taliban was the only way to save civilian lives.
Thousands of people have flocked to the capital, fleeing the provinces for fear of a return to a hardline Islamist regime.
It is estimated that Kabul can hold out about three months after the withdrawal of foreign troops.
The United States began to evacuate diplomats and was sending more troops to help secure Kabul airport and the embassy after the Taliban’s lightning advances.
US officials said diplomats were flown to the airport from the embassy in the Wazir Akbar Khan walled district.
More US troops were sent to help with the evacuations after the Taliban’s lightning strikes brought the Islamist group to Kabul within days.
As recently as last week, a US intelligence estimate indicated that Kabul could hold out for at least three months.
“We have a small group of people leaving now as we speak, a majority of the staff are ready to leave,” one US official said. “The embassy continues to operate.
No progress has been made in the peace talks between the Afghan government and the US-backed Taliban.
It comes after US President Joe Biden announced in April that US troops would withdraw from the country in a process that began in May and will end in September.
In May, the Taliban launched a major offensive in the southern province of Helmand, capturing Nerkh district on May 11.
In June, insurgents carried out a series of attacks in the north of the country, and on July 2, US troops quietly withdrew from their main military base in Afghanistan, Bagram Air Base, an hour from Kabul.
Earlier this month, Zaranj in the south of the country became the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban in years.
Many more followed in the days that followed, including the prized town of Kunduz in the north.
On Friday, the Taliban controlled Kandahar and Herat, while the next day Mazar-i-Sharif fell with Pul-e-Alam, capital of Logar province, just 40 miles south of Kabul.
After US-led forces withdrew the bulk of their remaining troops last month, the Taliban’s campaign gathered pace as the Afghan army’s defenses appeared to crumble.
President Biden yesterday authorized the deployment of 5,000 US troops to help evacuate citizens and ensure an “orderly and safe” withdrawal of military personnel.
A US. The defense official said that included 1,000 newly approved troops from the 82nd Airborne Division.
In a statement released last night, the Taliban claimed their quick wins showed he was popularly accepted by the Afghan people and told Afghans and foreigners they would be safe.
The Islamic Emirate, as the Taliban call themselves, “will protect, as always, their lives, property and honor, and create a peaceful and secure environment for its beloved nation,” he said. declared.
President Biden said it was up to the Afghan army to hold its own territory.
“An endless American presence in the midst of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me,” he said yesterday.