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.
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
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