Taliban says Afghanistan ‘free nation’ as it hails US exit
The Taliban says Afghanistan is a “free and sovereign” nation as it hails the exit of US troops after 20 years of occupation, describing their departure as a “historic moment”.
Taliban fighters on Tuesday took charge of Kabul’s airport as the last US soldiers flew out of the country. Celebratory gunfire and fireworks lit up the Kabul night sky.
Speaking to reporters from Kabul airport on Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “We do not have any doubt that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a free and sovereign nation.
“America was defeated… and on behalf of my nation, we want to have good relations with the rest of the world,” he said.
He also promised Afghans “will protect our freedom, independence and Islamic values”.
Earlier, Marine General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, announced that the last American troops flew out of Kabul just before midnight local time (19:30 GMT).
“We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out. But I think if we stayed another 10 days, we would not get everybody out that we wanted to get out.”
US President Joe Biden set a deadline of August 31 for the withdrawal of US troops