In photos: At least 20 die as Taliban takeover of Afghanistan completes eight days

At least 20 people died in and around Kabul airport during the hasty evacuation process being carried out by several countries after Taliban...

At least 20 people died in and around Kabul airport during the hasty evacuation process being carried out by several countries after Taliban takeover of the Afghan capital, a NATO diplomat said on Sunday.

The crowds flocked to the airport as the Taliban captured the capital of 5 million people after a lightning advance across the country that took just over a week to dethrone the country's Western-backed government. There were no major reports of abuses or fighting, but many residents stayed home and remained fearful after the insurgents' takeover saw prisons emptied and armouries looted.

Younger Afghans have no memory of Taliban rule but fear its return will mean the loss of freedoms. The militants imposed a harsh interpretation of Islamic law from 1996 until 2001 when a US-led invasion drove them from power.

Reports said multiple Afghan families, desperate to escape the new Taliban regime, were seen throwing their babies over the wired fences surrounding the Kabul airport.

As is the case with any war, many of the images that emerged were of death and destruction, pain and suffering. We collated some of the defining moments from one week of Taliban rule, documenting the fresh unravelling of a decades-long humanitarian crisis, where people had only just begun to know some semblance of normalcy.

Some hundreds of people run alongside a US Air Force C-17 transport plane as it moves down a runway of the international airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, 16 August, 2021. Thousands of Afghans have rushed onto the tarmac of Kabul’s international airport, some so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that they held onto an American military jet as it took off and fell to their death. Image courtesy: Twitter @WOTB07
In video footage that could become some of the defining images of the fall of Kabul, Afghans desperate to escape the Taliban takeover clung to the side of a departing U.S. military jet as it rolled down the tarmac Monday. Some of them apparently fell to their death as the aircraft gained altitude. AP
One of the people who tragically fell from the US military plane departing from Kabul on Monday was a young Afghan footballer.

 

In a heart-rending video that surfaced on Friday, a crying baby was seen being handed over a barbed-wire fence to US Marine troops at the Kabul airport. The US Department of Defence later confirmed the baby had been reunited with its father and “is safe at the airport”. Image courtesy: Omar Haidar via AFP
Even before Taliban could cement its political footprint in Afghanistan, Islamic fighters could be seen erasing testaments of development and how far Kabul had come in terms of normalising women's lives. capital Kabul is already facing a grim makeover. Posters of women on showro@MalikAchkJourno
Afghan women working at a bank in Kandahar were asked to leave because their jobs were deemed inappropriate and they were allowed to be replaced by male relatives. In another province, co-education was banned. TV anchors have not been allowed to join their scheduled programs. Several women took to streets to fight reversal of rights under a new Talibani regime. Twitter @CrystalBayat
Afghan women working at a bank in Kandahar were asked to leave because their jobs were deemed inappropriate and they were allowed to be replaced by male relatives. In another province, co-education was banned. TV anchors have not been allowed to join their scheduled programs. Several women took to streets to fight reversal of rights under a new Talibani regime. Twitter @CrystalBayat

Taliban members were seen on amusement park rides a day after they captured Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul. The videos and pictures were testament to the fact that how much Afghanistan has changed from what the Taliban fighter knew it as. In the past 20 years, US invasion has brought development to major urban cities, the Taliban who were confined to deserted hinterlands had never experienced the slew of changes. Twitter @HamidShalizi

Taliban members were seen on amusement park rides a day after they captured Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul. A day later, the Taliban burnt the same park to the ground. All sources of entertainment, including movie theatres, hotels and amusement parks were banned in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan of the 90s. Thus these edifices of western modernity were allien to fighters who grew up practicitng austerity under strict Sharia laws. Twitter @HamidShalizi

In another video, Taliban fighters can be seen checking out a gym. These encounters with modern amenities highlights how much Kabul and other Afghan cities have changed in the 20 years since the Taliban, who mainly hail from rugged rural areas, last ruled the country. An entire generation of Afghans has come of age under a modernizing, Western-backed government flush with development aid. Many fear those gains will be reversed now that the Taliban are back in power and the last U.S. troops are on their way out.

The Taliban have released videos via their propaganda channel showing their fighters wearing stolen US-made military gear, including assault rifles and sophisticated tactical radio. Twitter @SaeedKhosti

The Taliban have released videos via their propaganda channel showing their fighters wearing stolen US-made military gear, including assault rifles and sophisticated tactical radio. Twitter @SaeedKhosti

Afghans wave a black, red and green banner in honor of the Afghan flag — a banner that is becoming a symbol of defiance since the Taliban have their own flag. AP
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India World News: In photos: At least 20 die as Taliban takeover of Afghanistan completes eight days
In photos: At least 20 die as Taliban takeover of Afghanistan completes eight days
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