Images: Taliban insurgents stormed across Afghanistan, capturing all major cities

 
Associated press
Updated 8/16/2021 1:33 PM

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf The Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan two weeks before the U.S. was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war. The insurgents stormed across the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the U.S. and its allies melted away.

Hundreds of people run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane, some climbing on the plane, as it moves down a runway of the international airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug.16. 2021. Thousands of Afghans have rushed onto the tarmac at the airport, some so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that they held onto the American military jet as it took off and plunged to death.
Hundreds of people run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane, some climbing on the plane, as it moves down a runway of the international airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug.16. 2021. Thousands of Afghans have rushed onto the tarmac at the airport, some so desperate to escape the Taliban capture of their country that they held onto the American military jet as it took off and plunged to death.
Associated Press
Planes stand after the arrival of the first flight of people evacuated from Kabul, at RAF Brize Norton, England, Monday Aug. 16, 2021. International nations have scrambled to evacuate their diplomats, local allies and their families from Kabul, following the fall of the Western-backed Afghanistan government to the Taliban.
Planes stand after the arrival of the first flight of people evacuated from Kabul, at RAF Brize Norton, England, Monday Aug. 16, 2021. International nations have scrambled to evacuate their diplomats, local allies and their families from Kabul, following the fall of the Western-backed Afghanistan government to the Taliban.
Associated Press
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint on the road to the Afghan foreign ministry, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistan's airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital.
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint on the road to the Afghan foreign ministry, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistan's airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital.
Associated Press
A Taliban fighter sits on the back of a vehicle with a machine gun in front of the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistan's airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital.
A Taliban fighter sits on the back of a vehicle with a machine gun in front of the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistan's airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital.
Associated Press
Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Kandahar, southwest Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Kandahar, southwest Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Associated Press
Travelers enter in Pakistan through a border crossing point in Chaman, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. A special flight of Pakistan's national airline PIA has arrived in Islamabad carrying 329 passengers from Kabul, and another carrying 170 people will arrive later today. A spokesman for the airline said Saturday that the airline will operate three flights tomorrow to transport Pakistanis and other nationalities looking to leave Kabul.
Travelers enter in Pakistan through a border crossing point in Chaman, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. A special flight of Pakistan's national airline PIA has arrived in Islamabad carrying 329 passengers from Kabul, and another carrying 170 people will arrive later today. A spokesman for the airline said Saturday that the airline will operate three flights tomorrow to transport Pakistanis and other nationalities looking to leave Kabul.
Associated Press
In this photo provided by the French Defense Ministry, French soldiers prepare to board a military Airbus A400M to evacuate French citizens from Afghanistan, Monday, Aug.16, 2021 in Orleans, central France. France is relocating its embassy in Kabul to the airport to evacuate all citizens still in Afghanistan, initially transferring them to Abu Dhabi. Evacuations have been in progress for weeks and a charter flight put in place by France in mid-July.
In this photo provided by the French Defense Ministry, French soldiers prepare to board a military Airbus A400M to evacuate French citizens from Afghanistan, Monday, Aug.16, 2021 in Orleans, central France. France is relocating its embassy in Kabul to the airport to evacuate all citizens still in Afghanistan, initially transferring them to Abu Dhabi. Evacuations have been in progress for weeks and a charter flight put in place by France in mid-July.
Associated Press
Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Thousands of people packed into the Afghan capital's airport on Monday, rushing the tarmac and pushing onto planes in desperate attempts to flee the country after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed government.
Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Thousands of people packed into the Afghan capital's airport on Monday, rushing the tarmac and pushing onto planes in desperate attempts to flee the country after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed government.
Associated Press
Taliban fighters stand guard at the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military struggled to manage a chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan on Monday as the Taliban patrolled the capital and tried to project calm after toppling the Western-backed government.
Taliban fighters stand guard at the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military struggled to manage a chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan on Monday as the Taliban patrolled the capital and tried to project calm after toppling the Western-backed government.
Associated Press
Taliban fighters pray while raising their flag at the Ghazni provincial governor's house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Taliban fighters pray while raising their flag at the Ghazni provincial governor's house, in Ghazni, southeastern, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Associated Press
Pakistan soldiers check documents of travelers crossing the border to Afghanistan through a crossing point in Chaman, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. A special flight of Pakistan's national airline PIA has arrived in Islamabad carrying 329 passengers from Kabul, and another carrying 170 people will arrive later today. A spokesman for the airline said Saturday that the airline will operate three flights tomorrow to transport Pakistanis and other nationalities looking to leave Kabul.
Pakistan soldiers check documents of travelers crossing the border to Afghanistan through a crossing point in Chaman, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. A special flight of Pakistan's national airline PIA has arrived in Islamabad carrying 329 passengers from Kabul, and another carrying 170 people will arrive later today. A spokesman for the airline said Saturday that the airline will operate three flights tomorrow to transport Pakistanis and other nationalities looking to leave Kabul.
Associated Press
In this photo released by The White House, President Joe Biden meets virtually with his national security team and senior officials for a briefing on Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, at Camp David, Md.
In this photo released by The White House, President Joe Biden meets virtually with his national security team and senior officials for a briefing on Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, at Camp David, Md.
Associated Press
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defence on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, members of the 16 Air Assault Brigade arrive in Kabul as part of a 600-strong UK-force sent to assist with Operation PITTING to rescue British nationals in Afghanistan amidst the worsening security situation there.
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defence on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, members of the 16 Air Assault Brigade arrive in Kabul as part of a 600-strong UK-force sent to assist with Operation PITTING to rescue British nationals in Afghanistan amidst the worsening security situation there.
Associated Press
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defence on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, members of the 16 Air Assault Brigade arrive in Kabul as part of a 600-strong UK-force sent to assist with Operation PITTING to rescue British nationals in Afghanistan amidst the worsening security situation there.
In this photo provided by the Ministry of Defence on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, members of the 16 Air Assault Brigade arrive in Kabul as part of a 600-strong UK-force sent to assist with Operation PITTING to rescue British nationals in Afghanistan amidst the worsening security situation there.
Associated Press
Taliban fighters stand guard on the road to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Thousands of people packed into the Afghan capital's airport on Monday, rushing the tarmac and pushing onto planes in desperate attempts to flee the country after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed government.
Taliban fighters stand guard on the road to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Thousands of people packed into the Afghan capital's airport on Monday, rushing the tarmac and pushing onto planes in desperate attempts to flee the country after the Taliban overthrew the Western-backed government.
Associated Press
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Associated Press
Passengers walk to the departures terminal of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. As a Taliban offensive encircles the Afghan capital, there's increasingly only one way out for those fleeing the war, and only one way in for U.S. troops sent to protect American diplomats still on the ground: the airport.
Passengers walk to the departures terminal of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. As a Taliban offensive encircles the Afghan capital, there's increasingly only one way out for those fleeing the war, and only one way in for U.S. troops sent to protect American diplomats still on the ground: the airport.
Associated Press
An Airbus A400M transport aircraft of the German Air Force stands at the Wunstorf air base in the Hanover region early Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. In view of the rapid advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Bundeswehr plans to begin evacuating German citizens and local Afghan forces from Kabul on Monday.
An Airbus A400M transport aircraft of the German Air Force stands at the Wunstorf air base in the Hanover region early Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. In view of the rapid advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Bundeswehr plans to begin evacuating German citizens and local Afghan forces from Kabul on Monday.
Associated Press
An Airbus A400M transport aircraft of the German Air Force takes off early this morning from the Wunstorf air base in the Hanover region Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. In view of the rapid advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Bundeswehr wants to begin evacuating German citizens and local Afghan forces from Kabul.
An Airbus A400M transport aircraft of the German Air Force takes off early this morning from the Wunstorf air base in the Hanover region Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. In view of the rapid advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Bundeswehr wants to begin evacuating German citizens and local Afghan forces from Kabul.
Associated Press
Members of Joint Forces Headquarters get prepared to deploy to Afghanistan to assist in the draw down from the area in this handout photo taken on Friday Aug. 13, 2021 and issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States planned to send in 3,000 troops to help evacuate some personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Britain and Canada are also sending forces to aid their evacuations.
Members of Joint Forces Headquarters get prepared to deploy to Afghanistan to assist in the draw down from the area in this handout photo taken on Friday Aug. 13, 2021 and issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States planned to send in 3,000 troops to help evacuate some personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Britain and Canada are also sending forces to aid their evacuations.
Associated Press
Members of Joint Forces Headquarters get prepared to deploy to Afghanistan to assist in the draw down from the area in this handout photo taken on Friday Aug. 13, 2021 and issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States planned to send in 3,000 troops to help evacuate some personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Britain and Canada are also sending forces to aid their evacuations.
Members of Joint Forces Headquarters get prepared to deploy to Afghanistan to assist in the draw down from the area in this handout photo taken on Friday Aug. 13, 2021 and issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). With security rapidly deteriorating in Afghanistan, the United States planned to send in 3,000 troops to help evacuate some personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Britain and Canada are also sending forces to aid their evacuations.
Associated Press
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Person second from left is a former bodyguard for Ghani.
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Person second from left is a former bodyguard for Ghani.
Associated Press
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