Gun-toting Taliban fighters have taken full control of the Afghan Presidential Palace after the country’s president, Ashraf Ghani, fled the seat of power on Sunday.
Yesterday, Taliban leaders addressed the media in the office, saying that they would use the palace to announce the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
According to agency reports, the Taliban takeover of the palace, known as the Arg, was peaceful.
The head of the Presidential Protection Service, which has guarded it for most of the last two decades, shook hands with a Taliban commander and announced the handover.
The government official, Muhammadullah Amin, said he had been asked to meet and escort the Taliban commander, whom he addressed by the religious title Maulvi, into the palace by the government’s longtime chief negotiator with the Taliban.
“After a few contacts with Maulvi Saheb, I came here together and currently we are in the Gulkhana palace,” he said, referring to one of the palace buildings.
The Taliban commander stood and shook his hand. “I said, ‘We will take a selfie, and now we have taken it together,” Amin said.