Afghanistan crisis Live Updates: Taliban militants have entered the outskirts of the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday, and said they were awaiting a “peaceful transfer” of the city. The insurgents also issued a statement that they have no plans to take the Afghan capital “by force” as sounds of gunshots echoed in the capital.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity as they weren’t authorised to release the information, said there hadn’t been any fighting yet. The Taliban fighters were in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman. Amid a harsh Taliban offensive, the territory controlled by the Afghan government shrank further on Sunday as the Taliban took the provincial capital of Maidan Wardak, just west of Kabul. Earlier today, the key eastern city of Jalalabad fell without a fight. The fall of the last major city takes the insurgents closer to capturing the capital Kabul. The Taliban has also secured the roads connecting Afghanistan to Pakistan, a western official told Reuters. In less than eight weeks, the hardliners have swept through the country taking all the major cities including Mazar-i-Sharif, Logar province, Kandahar, Herat among others. The takeover of cities in the last 24 hours has been virtually unopposed. As Taliban fighters entered Mazar-i-Sharif on Saturday, government security forces escaped to neighbouring Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, thousands of civilians have streamed into Kabul, fleeing from the Taliban controlled areas. Hundreds of people have been displaced and are now staying homeless in the capital. Overcrowded tents and open areas with a lack of food and other amenities has become a common sight in the city