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Taliban To Allow 200 Civilians From US, Other Countries To Leave Kabul

The Taliban agreed to let 200 civilians from the United States and other countries remaining in Afghanistan to be evacuated on special flights from the airport in Kabul, a US official told Reuters on Thursday. The permission comes after the intervention of US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, according to Reuters, and the flights could leave on Thursday.

Meanwhile, former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a tweet on Wednesday that he had no intention to “abandon” his people when he fled the country as the Taliban were taking over last month. Ghani left the country on August 15, and was said to be carrying suitcases of cash with him, which he has denied. “Leaving Kabul was the most difficult decision of my life, but I believed it was the only way to keep the guns silent and save Kabul and her 6 million citizens,” he tweeted.

The Taliban on Tuesday announced its interim government, which is made up of Taliban members and loyalists, and does not include any women or other political parties. The acting prime minister is Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, a close associate and political adviser to the late Mullah Omar, the founder of the Taliban and its first supreme leader.  Included in the new government are 14 former Taliban officials from its 1996-2001 rule, and five detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison. The new government announced on Wednesday that it wants to establish diplomatic relations with every country in the world except Israel.

Meanwhile, protests against the new government and in support of women’s rights and free speech were dispersed across the country with live gunfire, and journalists were warned not to cover such demonstrations.