Speed Reads


Kabul's presidential palace reportedly 'handed over' to Taliban who are set to declare Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

The presidential palace in Kabul has been "handed over" to the Taliban, CNN reports, while Al Jazeera says it has gained exclusive access to footage of the insurgents inside the building after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country earlier Sunday.

It's still not entirely clear whether the Taliban has officially taken control of Afghanistan, but media outlets have reported the group is set to declare a new "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," the name of the state established the last time the Taliban were in power between 1996 and 2001.

Meanwhile, Ghani released a statement from his new location, which has not been confirmed (some reports indicated he was headed to Tajikistan, others say Uzbekistan was his destination). In a Facebook post, translated by The Washington Post, Ghani said it was a "hard choice" to leave, but he ultimately did so to avoid bloodshed in Kabul.

Per Al Jazeera, a Taliban spokesman said anyone who worked for the Afghan government or military will be offered amnesty.