Afghan president says he left the country to avoid bloodshed
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 15/08/2021
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has confirmed he has left the country as the Taliban entered Kabul, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed.
Reuters had earlier reported his departure for Tajikistan, citing a senior interior ministry official.
But in a Facebook post late on Sunday Mr Ghani said he was faced with a “hard choice” between the “armed Taliban” or “leaving the dear country that I dedicated my life to protecting the past 20 years”.
“If left unchecked, countless patriots would be martyred and the city of Kabul would be devastated, resulting in a major humanitarian catastrophe in the six-million-strong city,” he said.
“The Taliban had made it clear that they were ready to carry out a bloody attack on all of Kabul and the people of Kabul Sharif to oust me. In order to prevent a flood of bloodshed, I decided to leave.”
His post confirmed Taliban officials’ claims they have taken control of Afghanistan‘s presidential palace, alongside 11 districts of the capital.
It came amid reports of several explosions in Kabul, despite the Taliban saying that they wanted a “peaceful transition of power”.
He said the UK and its international partners should work to ensure “Afghanistan does not become a breeding ground for terror” once again.
Mr Johnson added that the “situation remains difficult” and the world is facing a “change of regime in Kabul”, but UK officials are working to get as many British nationals out of the country as it can “in the next few days”.
British troops from the 16 Air Assault Brigade landed in Kabul on Sunday, while British Airways ordered its pilots to stay away from Afghan airspace over security concerns.
Other airlines are likely to follow suit, as flight paths over Afghanistan connect countries to India and the Far East.
© Sky News 2020