Afghanistan crisis live updates: Taliban claims Massoud, Amrullah Saleh have escaped to Tajikistan

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is one of the co-founders of the Taliban. (File Photo/Reuters) Who is Sheikh Haibatullah Akhundzada, likely to be supreme leader of Afghanistan? Weeks after swiftly seizing control of Afghanistan, the Taliban is soon set to unveil its newly-formed government, which is likely to be helmed by the militant group’s top spiritual … Read more

Kabul airport reopens to receive aid, domestic flights restart

Ariana Afghan Airlines resumed some flights in Afghanistan between Kabul and three major provincial cities on Saturday, the carrier said, after a technical team from Qatar reopened the capital’s airport for aid and domestic services. Flights between Kabul and the western city of Herat, Mazar-i Sharif in northern Afghanistan and Kandahar in the south have … Read more

Taliban, opposition fight for Afghan holdout province, top US general warns of civil war

Taliban and opposition forces battled on Saturday to control the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, the last Afghan province holding out against the militant group, as the top U.S. general warned of a “civil war” if the Islamists failed to consolidate power. Both sides claimed to have the upper hand in Panjshir but neither could … Read more

US: Kosovo will host Afghan evacuees who need more screening

The United States intends to send Afghanistan evacuees who fail to clear initial screenings to Kosovo, which has agreed to house them for up to a year for additional processing, a US official told The Associated Press on Saturday. The US plan is likely to face objections from refugee advocates, who already complain of a … Read more

Afghanistan: Women’s rights protest in Kabul turns violent

Clashes broke out Saturday as the Taliban broke up a women’s rights protest in the Afghan capital, Kabul. The activists staged a protest close to the Afghan presidential palace and held banners reading “We are not women of the 90s,” referring to the strict curbs on women’s movement under the Taliban’s previous rule. Local media … Read more

‘They’ll kill us’ – Afghan pilots held at Uzbek camp fear deadly homecoming

The U.S.-trained Afghan pilots and others held at a camp in Uzbekistan already feared being sent back to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. So it was little comfort when an Uzbek guard unsympathetically quipped the other day: “You can’t stay here forever. “The offhand warning added to an already grinding sense of unease at the camp just across … Read more

Taliban sources say Panjshir valley, last Afghan holdout region, falls; resistance denies claim

Three Taliban sources said the Islamist militia had on Friday seized the Panjshir valley north of Kabul, the last province of Afghanistan holding out against it, although a resistance leader denied it had fallen. “By the grace of Allah Almighty, we are in control of the entire Afghanistan. The troublemakers have been defeated and Panjshir … Read more

Restoration of Kabul’s closed airport begins as some Afghan aid resumes

Afghanistan’s plunge into chaos, isolation and near-destitution under its newly ascendant Taliban rulers appeared to slow Thursday, with the first significant moves to salvage Kabul’s inoperable airport, an increased flow of UN aid and word that international money transfers had resumed to the country, where many banks are shuttered. But these developments did not signal … Read more

‘It looked like a zombie apocalypse’: US military pilots, crew describe Afghanistan departure

It looked like a zombie apocalypse. For the US military pilots and aircrew about to make their final takeoffs out of Afghanistan, the sky was lit up with fireworks and sporadic gunfire and the airfield littered with battered shells of airplanes and destroyed equipment. Stray dogs raced around the tarmac. And Taliban fighters, visible in … Read more

UK foreign minister says intelligence was Afghan capital would not fall this year

Britain’s foreign minister Dominic Raab said the intelligence assessment was that it was unlikely Kabul would fall this year as he defended Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after the Taliban swept across the country much more quickly. Britain, like the United States, failed to predict how quickly the Afghan government would fall, meaning it had not … Read more