An email demanding the immediate extraction of journalists from Afghanistan has been sent to United States President Joe Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan, CNN anchor Jake Tapper reported in a tweet late Monday.
"Washington Post publisher emails Biden national security adviser Jake Sullivan: 'Urgent request on behalf of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post to help get 204 journalists, support staff and families to safety'," he said in the tweet as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan and a transitional government is formed.
Earlier on the same day, a U.S. defense official said that the head of Central Command had met face-to-face with senior Taliban leaders to urge their fighters not to interfere with the U.S. military’s evacuation operations at the Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan.
The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan over after taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul while Western nations scrambled on Monday to evacuate their citizens amid chaos at the airport as frantic Afghans searched for a way out.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday that, "The Taliban have won with the judgment of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honor, property and self-preservation of their countrymen," after fleeing the country as the militants entered the capital virtually unopposed, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed. The ensuing hours saw hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave flood Kabul airport.
"Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years," Mohammad Naeem, the spokesperson for the Taliban's political office, told Qatar-based media outlet Al-Jazeera TV. "Thanks to God, the war is over in the country."
It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the country after a lightning sweep that ended in Kabul as government forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others at a cost of billions of dollars, melted away.
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