Videos are emerging from Kabul showing the Taliban leadership celebrating inside the country's presidential palace, juxtaposed against footage of chaos at the capital city's airport where throngs of panicked crowds desperately try to flee Afghanistan.
Heavily-armed Taliban commanders effortlessly entered Kabul's presidential palace after it was abandoned by Ashraf Ghani, the former president of Afghanistan, who fled to Tajikistan.
Taliban enter presidential palace in #Kabul. Dat is allemaal live te zien op #Aljazeera. Precies een fictie film.pic.twitter.com/jk6yXyph2X— Majd Khalifeh (@Majd Khalifeh) 1629050924
#Taliban inside presidential palace in #Kabul .pic.twitter.com/ztYX9Rj20q— Majd Khalifeh (@Majd Khalifeh) 1629051035
Footage of the moment that Taliban leadership waltzed into the presidential palace surfaced on Sunday. The Taliban fighters were seen taking cellphone selfie photos with rifles around their shoulders.
Armed Taliban fighters have entered Afghanistan\u2019s presidential palace in Kabul hours after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.\n\n LIVE updates: https://aje.io/3yjpw3\u00a0pic.twitter.com/oPIGxxKT1V— Al Jazeera English (@Al Jazeera English) 1629054888
From the presidential palace, the ruling Taliban leadership is soon expected to restore the country as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which was the formal name of the country before the Taliban was dethroned after 9/11 by U.S.-led forces.
Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman and negotiator, told the Associated Press that the Islamic fundamentalist group would hold talks in the coming days in an effort at forming an "open, inclusive Islamic government."
There was a far different energy at the Kabul airport, where panicked people attempted to flee the country. Swarms of people are seen in videos clamoring to gain access to the last few flights before the Taliban imposes a vice-like grip on Afghanistan.
There were reports of gunshots being fired as people entered the airport. The U.S. State Department confirmed reports of gunfire at the airport.
Absolutely insane. \n\nPeople are trying to enter the Kabil airport as shots fired. \n\nIt is a reminder that a UAE consortium is responsible for the security and the ground services. \n\nTurkey is only guarding the airport against external attackspic.twitter.com/yTr5BdFfG2— Rag\u0131p Soylu (@Rag\u0131p Soylu) 1629061139
Video shows pandemonium inside the jam-packed Kabul International Airport, formally known as Hamid Karzai International Airport.
BREAKING: Chaos at Kabul Airport in Afghanistan as hundreds try to flee the country as soon as possible.pic.twitter.com/jwui8bjbFs— Insider Paper (@Insider Paper) 1629055102
There was complete chaos on the tarmac as hordes of people in despair search for a way to escape the country.
Another Saigon moment: chaotic scenes at Kabul International Airport. No security. None.pic.twitter.com/6BuXqBTHWk— Saad Mohseni (@Saad Mohseni) 1629058451
May God help them all in the Kabul airportpic.twitter.com/hoGYzaKr0L— Rag\u0131p Soylu (@Rag\u0131p Soylu) 1629061714
With extreme urgency, people try to board a cargo plane.
Scenes from #Kabul Airport, #Afghanistan showing people boarding what appears to a C17 (please correct me if wrong) and what appears to be gunfire in the air in the distance.pic.twitter.com/p3l7zrVu77— Aurora Intel (@Aurora Intel) 1629045888
CNN correspondent Jennifer Hansler reported that the Biden administration has "curtailed the number of flights to the US for Afghans who worked alongside the US as it prioritizes the evacuation of American personnel from the country."
Hansler's sources said, "The last flight for the time being of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants and their families bound for Fort Lee, Virginia, has left Afghanistan."
According to multiple reports, people were already painting over advertisements of women in Kabul in preparation for the incoming rule by the radical Islamic regime.
Video caught the moment Sky News' chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay claimed to have witnessed a Taliban procession in Kabul.
Sky News' chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay witnesses a Taliban procession in Kabul. He first heard shouting while filming on a hotel, before spotting the group walking with the Taliban's white flag.\n\nRead the latest on the situation in Afghanistan: https://trib.al/HOKjkZQ\u00a0pic.twitter.com/4PO9XlOkcO— Sky News (@Sky News) 1629028742