Hello, this is Danielle Jalowiecka with the BBC News.
The Taliban's lightning week-long offensive across Afghanistan has culminated in their seizure of the capital Kabul, 20 years after they last held power. They took Kabul after President Ashraf Ghani fled to Uzbekistan, saying the militants had won by force and were now responsible for protecting the honor, wealth and self-esteem of the Afghan people. The Taliban have urged calm, but Kabul is in chaos. As the Taliban move into Kabul, western countries are commandeering the airports to evacuate embassy staff and others desperate to leave. Paul Adams reports. As the Taliban moves in, the west moves out. American helicopters busy over Kabul all day today, ferrying diplomats from the U.S. Embassy to the airport. This disorderly end was not the plan. A city in panic, people desperate to leave, taking what they can, fearing a bloody assault. But so far, it's happening without a fight. More signs of panic are at the banks, people lining up to take out their savings. With thousands of police officers and security officials abandoning their positions, the Taliban seemingly reversed an earlier pledge not to enter the city.
The Pentagon is sending a further 1,000 American troops to assist with the U.S. evacuation effort. Here's David Willis. The latest addition is made up of members of the 82nd army airborne division. They'll join the roughly 3,000 U.S. troops that have already arrived in Afghanistan in an effort to help secure the airport in Kabul to which embassy officials and Afghan support staff have now been transferred. President Biden was briefed on the situation by members of his national security team at the presidential retreat, Camp David. He has yet to comment on the latest developments in Afghanistan.
British troops are also on the ground supporting the evacuation of British and Afghan civilians. France and Germany are sending military planes to get their citizens out. The UN Secretary General António Guterres has called on the Taliban and all other parties to exercise the utmost restraint in order to protect lives. A UN spokesman said Mr. Guterres was particularly concerned about the future rights of women and girls. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he wants to make sure that other like-minded nations don't prematurely recognize the Taliban.
Haiti's civil protection service says around 1,300 people are now known to have lost their lives in Saturday's powerful earthquake which struck the southwest of the country. Hospitals in the area are inundated and struggling to cope with the number of injured, which is almost doubled to around 6,000 people. In the cities of Jeremie and Les Cayes, rescuers are trying to locate people still trapped under rubble.
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