After flooding into the capital, Kabul, Taliban fighters crowded the streets in vehicles confiscated from government troops. This force began confiscating weapons from civilians on the grounds that the people no longer needed them to protect themselves.
The Taliban claim that peace has come and they are delivering a message of restraint in violence. A Taliban leader told Reuters he had ordered the fighters not to do anything to frighten civilians. The force said all women would need to wear headscarves, but would be allowed to work and go to school.
Taliban fighters on the streets of Kabul.
On August 15, the Taliban announced that there would be a general amnesty for government employees and Afghans who cooperate with US and allied forces. Earlier it was reported that the surrendered Afghan army was being executed. The Taliban released a video that is believed to be an interview with the people of Kabul. This person said: “Everything is very good”.
However, one government employee told Reuters he was hiding in his friend’s house and feared the Taliban would revert to the same policies they had when they took power 20 years ago. This person said his family is trying to find enough clothes so that his wife and daughter can cover from head to toe.
Meanwhile, at Kabul airport, the scene of chaos continued. Thousands of worried people fled, flooding the airport to find a way out of the country. There were even people clinging to the outside of the plane and falling from above.
Many people panicked and climbed onto the plane.
At least 10 people were killed in the chaos at the airport on August 16. However, it is not clear how they died, due to stampede, gunfire or other reasons. According to a US official, at least two gunmen who opened fire on the crowd were killed by US forces.
The US is increasing the number of troops here to more than 6,000 to ensure the safety of evacuations. Allies including Britain and Australia are also working to evacuate.