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Ghani flew out of Kabul on Sunday and headed for Tajikistan, a senior Afghan interior ministry official told multiple outlets.
Following the initial reports of his leaving, Ghani issued a statement to Facebook saying, according to a translation, "Today, I came across a hard choice; I should stand to face the armed Taliban who wanted to enter the palace or leave the dear country that I dedicated my life to protecting and protecting the past twenty years."
"The Taliban have made it to remove me, they are here to attack all Kabul and the people of Kabul. In order to avoid the bleeding flood, I thought it was best to get out. Taliban have won the judgement of sword and guns and now they are responsible for protecting the countrymen's honor, wealth and self-esteem," the president added.
Afghan National Reconciliation Council chief Abdullah Abdullah is expected to remain in the country and will travel to Qatar on Sunday to meet with representatives of the Taliban, according to an Afghanistan negotiator.
“He left Afghanistan in a hard time, God hold him accountable,” Abdullah said in a video recording Sunday.
After about a weeklong military surge that led to the Taliban capturing nearly all of Afghanistan, Taliban forces closed in on Kabul on Sunday.
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Qatar’s Al-Jazeera English that the insurgents are “awaiting a peaceful transfer of Kabul city," per the Associated Press.
Civilians who fear the Taliban could reimpose brutal rule on the country and reduce the rights of women have also rushed to flee the country, as some seen at cash machines withdrawing money to make their next move.
However, a Taliban official said those who wish to flee should remain in the country, according to the Jerusalem Post.
"Foreigners in Kabul should leave if they wish to, or register their presence in the coming week with Taliban administrators," the official said.
Personnel with the U.S. Embassy have been moved to the airport in Kabul to ensure their operations maintain security and safety. Over the weekend, diplomats worked to burn and destroy any sensitive documents leftover at the facility.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani flees country