Plumes of smoke were seen billowing from the Kabul’s ‘green zone’ that housed international embassies on Sunday as officials burned sensitive documents to stop them falling into the hands of the Taliban.
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A day later, the Afghan president had fled as the extremist group consolidated its grip on the capital, and the green zone fell silent as diplomats rushed to the airport to be evacuated.
With police and security contractors who once guarded the embassies in the Wazir Akbar Khan district gone, some motorists were forced to get out of their cars and lift security barriers themselves before driving through.
Kabul’s airport, on the other hand, saw chaotic scenes as Afghans rushed onto the tarmac attempting to board US military aircraft.
At least five people were killed in the confusion, although their cause of death is unclear.