REPORTS: Taliban Entering Kabul, Negotiating Peaceful Transfer to “Transitional” Government

Overnight Saturday Taliban forces entered the province of Kabul and, after announcing that the city of Kabul would not be taken by force and that those wishing to leave the city would be offered safe passage out, entered the city itself.

According to multiple news reports, Taliban forces are surrounding the city. Afghan Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said in a recorded statement that there would be a “peaceful transfer of power” to a transitional government (a/k/a/ the Taliban):

“The Afghan people should not worry… There will be no attack on the city and there will be a peaceful transfer of power to the transitional government.”

Al-Jazeera is reporting that a “senior official” tells them Taliban forces are entering the city “from all sides,” and their latest update says:

The Taliban have begun entering Kabul, Afghanistan's interior ministry and the armed group said.

The development on Sunday came just hours after the group seized control of the key eastern city of Jalalabad, securing critical roads connecting the country to Pakistan.

A Taliban leader in Doha, which has been the site of years-long peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the group, said fighters on Sunday were ordered to refrain from violence and offer safe passage to those wishing to leave Kabul.

It is unclear whether the government of President Ashraf Ghani will mount a counteroffensive or capitulate.

It was rumored that Ghani had fled the country, but a source says that's not true and that he simply spent the morning in the garden of the presidential palace with his wife.

Meanwhile, Russia has called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting on the matter, and the UK parliament will be recalled next week to discuss Afghanistan. And, Joe Biden is silent.

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