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The Taliban captured the presidential palace in Kabul

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“The Taliban have won,” said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who has left the country to avoid “bloodshed”.

Television footage shows dozens of Taliban militants seizing the presidential palace in Kabul, claiming victory over the Afghan government.

“Our country has been liberated and the Mujahideen have won in Afghanistan,” a rebel told Al Jazeera television station from the palace. Fighters seized the building after President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad, acknowledging that the Taliban had “won”.

Afghan President in exile

Earlier this Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he had left the country to avoid “bloodshed” by acknowledging that the Taliban had won.

President Ghani, who did not specify where he had gone, said he was convinced that “countless patriots would be killed and Kabul would be destroyed” if he remained in Afghanistan.

“The Taliban have won by the fate of their swords and rifles and are now responsible for the dignity, ownership and self-defense of their country,” he added in a post on Facebook.

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