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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 15, 2021 9:00am-9:31am BST

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this is bbc news — i'm lukewesa burak — with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. jalalabad falls to the taliban — leaving kabul as the only city left under afghan government control. the taliban threat to kabul prompts queues at banks and foreign workers are being moved to safety. haiti is hit by a powerful earthquake — killing more than 300 people and injuring thousands. the uk government promises to offer a coronavirus vaccine to more than a million 16 and 17—year—olds by the end of next week. australia's biggest state, new south wales, begins a month—long
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lockdown as the premier warns of �*difficult months ahead'. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. the afghan city of jalalabad has fallen to the taliban. it was the only significant city outside the capital, kabul, still in government hands. meanwhile the united states has begun evacuating staff from its embassy in kabul. latest reports indicate the taliban are closing in on the capital. before jalalabad fell in the east, militants captured mazar—i—sharif, an important trading hub near the border with uzbekistan. our correspondent secunder kermani has more from kabul. this is the very centre of kabul.
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thousands who have fled fighting across the north now live in these miserable conditions. this family escaped the violence, but say they still don't feel safe. translation: we're thirsty. we're hungry. we have no home. other makeshift camps are even bigger. but this, in the heart of the city, shows how quickly the country is unravelling. we don't want to go back to the era where our sisters and our education sector and the development sector was so shattered, we don't want to go back to that. fighting erupted around mazar—i—sharif. it was one of the last major cities still under government control and had been a bastion
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of anti—taliban resistance. security forces were fleeing to the border with uzbekistan as the insurgents took it over. once in kandahar, their spiritual home, the taliban cemented their position with a flag—hoisting ceremony. finally addressing the nation, president ghani didn't comment on rumours he may resign. instead, simply promising to re—mobilise beleaguered forces. for now, for many people here in kabul, life is continuing more or less as normal but the taliban are getting closer and closer to the city and there is increasing concern that a fierce and protracted battle for control of kabul could be imminent. the speed of the taliban's advance has led to the us and uk together deploying more than 5,500 troops to afghanistan to repatriate their citizens and many of their embassy staff. many afghan cities are now
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being handed over to the taliban, following local deals with the security forces. that may be the only way to avoid even more suffering in kabul, too, but would mean an end to life here as residents know it. secunder kermani, bbc news, kabul. some breaking news on the situation in afghanistan. it is being reported via the reuters news agency and the afp that the taliban have begun entering the capital kabul from all sides. the afghan interior minister has reported this to reuters. and to the afp. us and european union staff are currently seeking safety. a nato
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official reportedly again seem to reuters that core us team members are working from the cabo airport and eu staff have moved to a safer location in the capital. there has also been quite a lot of talk on twitter. 0ne tweet here, a member of the negotiating team of the islamic republic of afghanistan who has simply tweeted don't panic, kabul is safe. we will get more on this shortly with our corresponded as he confirms those details of news that the taliban have begun to enter the afghan capital, kabul. president biden has
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issued a stong defence of his decision to pull us troops out of afghanistan. mr biden said he'd inherited a deal from donald trump which imposed a deadline for withdrawal. he went on to say "one more year, or five more years of presence would not have made a difference if the afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. and an endless american presence in the middle of another country's civil conflict was not acceptable to me. let's speak to our south asia correspondent, anbarasan ethirajan. to reiterate this breaking news we're getting here via the reuters news agency and the afp that the taliban have begun entering afghan capital, kabul. just how significant is this? at the moment what we know is this? at the moment what we know is there is attention in kabul city and we have not had confirmation
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about taliban militants entering the city as of now but we note the presidential palace has just tweeted a few minutes ago and i will give you a rough translation seeing there have been some gunfire heard but security forces with international partners are securing the security situation. the second one is the taliban spoken who has tweeted saying they have asked taliban fighters to refrain from violence in kabul city which some interpret as not to enter ourfight kabul city which some interpret as not to enter our fight inside the city. laterwe not to enter our fight inside the city. later we should be able to confirm about other reports but a bbc colleague in kabul was at a government office a few minutes ago and was asked to leave and the office was closed and they were asked to evacuate and some shops in certain localities in kabul were
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closed down and he told me there is a sense of panic and fear. a lot of people are trying to get visas and passports because people want to leave and are not sure what will happen if and when the taliban take over the city. the government is asking people to remain calm and they are taking measures as many modern countries are evacuating and the us has brought on trips to evacuate their embassy staff and other nations. are you surprised that the taliban have got this close? —— they have brought in troops. are you surprised they would do this when the evacuation has not been completed? there have been a number of supplies is in the last ten days and no one expected them to control 26 of 27 provincial capitals in a matter of days and many provinces surrendered in a fight and
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handed over and pro—government militias switching sides. now they have surrounded the access to kabul city under close and took over the town a0 kilometres to the south—west. whether they want to enter immediately after the international community are many western countries leave that is a question we cannot predict because no one predicted this would happen in the last ten days. what the taliban might want to do in the situation is they are now capturing all the territories even as officially the american withdrawal has not happened and will not be until the end of the month and it will go. it will be a big propaganda victory if the capture kabul and if the evacuation is done under their supervision. any chance of conflict with the us troops remains to be seen. to confirm what you said about
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taliban fighters being told not to enter the city by taliban leaders themselves, via reuters a taliban official speaking to the reuters news agency seeing we do not want a single innocent afghan civilian it to be injured or killed as we take charge. but we have not cleared a ceasefire. what talks do we know have been taking place? in doha the two sides have been talking for the past few days and the americans want to push for a ceasefire to avoid loss of life in the battle for kabul and also a political settlement. it puts a huge pressure on the government in afghanistan. many of the army units, out of seven
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military court six of already disbanded or surrendered to the taliban so where was the command control? there was a lot of speculation that the president may resign which would lead to a new transitional government with the taliban in charge. yesterday he came on television in a very short message and said his priority was to re—mobilise the security forces and was trying to reassure people. how much political leverage and power he has at the moment because the taliban seems to have the military balance and talks are still going on with things moving very fast, how long can he hold on to thejob? that is a big question. thank you for that round—up. we are going to remind viewers of our breaking news.
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and that is a number of news agencies including afp and reuters have said that the taliban have begun entering the afghan capital, kabul, from all sides. reporting this was the afghan interior ministry. we are also hearing that us and european union staff have been seeking safety. some us teen members have been working from the airport and eu staff have moved to a safer undisclosed location. the taliban have begun entering the afghan capital, kabul. we are not sure how far they are but following this we have had from the taliban official saying we do not want a single innocent afghan civilian to be injured or killed as we take charge but we haven't declared a ceasefire. slightly unsure picture at the moment.
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joining me now from kabul — is the afghanjournalist bilal sawary. thank you forjoining us. a lot of confusion. what is going on? it is torture for the civilians, a city of 6 million people and fears of attacks against kabul have been a reality of life here so what we have now seen as a statement indicating that they have instructed their fighters not to go into the city of kabul and stop the gates of the city although residents as well as afghan officials are reporting that has been breached. the taliban statement also says the security of kabul is the responsibility of the afghan government until the transition takes place. it looks what was happening in the background between the president and various afghan leaders and the americans and others
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has been about some sort of a deal which sees an afghanistan president either stepstone or resigns on a new government, that is a transitional government, that is a transitional government, comes into play. but this is again a city of at least 6 million people, a city that went through a civil war and with the taliban many deadly attacks of the past 20 years. it will not be easy to ensure residents who have been left to chaos and uncertainty and left to chaos and uncertainty and left to chaos and uncertainty and left to the possibility of bloodshed and killings and as we had, foreign and killings and as we had, foreign and western diplomats have left to undisclosed locations. the afghans don't have that luxury. the people here were promised peace, the people here were promised peace, the people here were promised a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire and none of those things happen. but if afghanistan is able now to get into
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a peaceful transition that will be historic. it is interesting you said the people are feeling let down and facing broken promises from the west. what are the taliban promising?— west. what are the taliban ”romisin? . ., , promising? the taliban are seeing the will promising? the taliban are seeing they will not _ promising? the taliban are seeing they will not harm _ promising? the taliban are seeing they will not harm anyone, - promising? the taliban are seeing they will not harm anyone, they i promising? the taliban are seeing i they will not harm anyone, they will not target anyone, they will protect businesses but we will have to see how that taliban transition from the military attacks on the military side of things into the politics and what sort of government we might be looking at and what sort of settlement. it is definitely something that was in the making over the last few days if not weeks and hours. my colleague said to you earlier on the messaging from the government was also confusing. the president said he was working on reorganising the afghan national security forces while he has left the ri last all have his cards and
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the ri last all have his cards and the military has surrendered and it is still a very fluid and confusing situation. ~ , ., , ., ~' is still a very fluid and confusing situation. ~ , ., , ., ~ , situation. why do you think it is re orted situation. why do you think it is reported that — situation. why do you think it is reported that the _ situation. why do you think it is reported that the taliban - situation. why do you think it is - reported that the taliban spokesman has instructed taliban fighters to stay out of kabul for now, do not enter the city, what is behind that? if you are the taliban you have the upper hand, you have taken control of cities and provinces without a fight and without resistance and you have support. you will not want to get into kabul and be involved in bloodshed and killings and i think that will be the taliban intention that will be the taliban intention that i think we will have to see how this transition takes place because my country has a history of using tanks and bullets to determine such transitions. 0ver tanks and bullets to determine such transitions. over the past four years that has been one of the most prevalent features of politics here. we have not seen governments being
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overthrown by coups. let's hope for the sake of the people the transition is peaceful and peace that generations have fought for and not gods and peace that everyone in this country obviously deserves. what have people been seeing they would do if the taliban do enter and take kabul? have they been discussing their plans? we know there is a huge influx of people that has taken place within kabul, how was the city coping with those numbers? ., , how was the city coping with those numbers? . , , h, numbers? kabul is the melting point of afghanistan _ numbers? kabul is the melting point of afghanistan because _ numbers? kabul is the melting point of afghanistan because of— numbers? kabul is the melting point of afghanistan because of the - of afghanistan because of the fighting problems. 0ver of afghanistan because of the fighting problems. over the years people have gone into kabul, whether you talk about a few years ago the fighting in the south are now. let's see now how the situation unfolds. i
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would rather not predict or speculate anything are also comment on things that i don't know. it is a very, very confusing situation. [30 very, very confusing situation. do ou very, very confusing situation. do you feel safe? i— very, very confusing situation. do you feel safe? i hope _ very, very confusing situation. do you feel safe? i hope that - very, very confusing situation. do you feel safe? i hope that the - very, very confusing situation. do| you feel safe? i hope that the city is safe and _ you feel safe? i hope that the city is safe and that _ you feel safe? i hope that the city is safe and that safety _ you feel safe? i hope that the city is safe and that safety will - you feel safe? i hope that the city is safe and that safety will extend j is safe and that safety will extend to me and my family. i am from here and i have been here. i don't belong to any other place so let's hope it's in that context that my city my family are safe and more importantly afghanistan is safe. without a safe afghanistan is safe. without a safe afghanistan none of us have any students in this country. we understand _ students in this country. we understand there has been a run on the banks. i people affording to buy essentials like food and fuel? i was essentials like food and fuel? i was able to net essentials like food and fuel? i was able to get money _ essentials like food and fuel? i was able to get money out _ essentials like food and fuel? i was able to get money out of— essentials like food and fuel? i was able to get money out of the - essentials like food and fuel? um; able to get money out of the bank myself, the machines were not working this morning. there was panic and gunshots fired also to the
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presidential palace by police trying to disperse people so as i said it is a situation not as ideal as the americans and everyone would have liked. this is a very, very fearful city, this is a city concerned, but nonetheless a city and a country thirsty for peace if that is to happen. thirsty for peace if that is to ha en. ~ , ., thirsty for peace if that is to ha--en.~ thirsty for peace if that is to hauen. , ., happen. when you say peace, how would that peace _ happen. when you say peace, how would that peace looking - would that peace looking afghanistan? 0ver would that peace looking afghanistan? over the past two decades and over the past few days the world has learned a lot more and been reminded about afghanistan and the complexities of the country, you have the tribal factions, there is a lot going on. describe to us of what is peace for afghanistan? piece
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lot going on. describe to us of what is peace for afghanistan?— is peace for afghanistan? piece for afghanistan _ is peace for afghanistan? piece for afghanistan is _ is peace for afghanistan? piece for afghanistan is to _ is peace for afghanistan? piece for afghanistan is to go _ is peace for afghanistan? piece for afghanistan is to go to _ is peace for afghanistan? piece for afghanistan is to go to the - is peace for afghanistan? piece for afghanistan is to go to the school. afghanistan is to go to the school and the clinic cannot be killed. to go to the butchers shop and not get killed. peace is to take your family to a hospital or a clinic and the play should not get blown up. the piece is when you have a wedding it is not bombed full stop when you have a funeral that is not blown up by suicide attacks. peace is when the children of the people can go to school from the city to the village and everyone will perhaps be in an afghan democracy. afghans would like that to be the form of democracy rather than something which is more in practice in other parts of the world, and the western world, because afghanistan is still trying to fight with bullets in the transition to balance is not there. it is an important distinction. but again the people of dennistoun have been suffering and entire families have got killed and this is a
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country of a million tragedies. my challenge as i wrote in the telegraph yesterday is which one do i tell to the world? this is also a country of younger people who have invested their dreams and aspirations and have had a commitment to this country in the future of this country and let's hope it is finally time for a balance and the bullets are left behind. it will be a long road, it will not be easy.— behind. it will be a long road, it will not be easy. thank you so much and we do hone _ will not be easy. thank you so much and we do hope you _ will not be easy. thank you so much and we do hope you stay _ will not be easy. thank you so much and we do hope you stay safe. - will not be easy. thank you so much| and we do hope you stay safe. thank you. just to remind you we have had reports that the taliban are entering are on the outskirts in the city of kabul and also a tweet from the office of the afghan president saying fighting has been heard at
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several points around kabul. security forces have the situation under control. that is coming from the afghan government. meanwhile statement from the taliban, following the news that the taliban has started to enter kabul an official told reuters we don't want a single innocent afghan civilians to be injured or killed as we take charge but we have not declared a ceasefire. so that is the breaking news we have at the moment coming from afghanistan. very fast and fluid situation. let's talk to the conservative mp tom tugendhat, who's chair of the foreign affairs select committee it is heartbreaking. these are eo - le it is heartbreaking. these are people who — it is heartbreaking. these are people who i _ it is heartbreaking. these are people who i and _ it is heartbreaking. these are
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people who i and many - it is heartbreaking. these are people who i and many other| it is heartbreaking. these are - people who i and many other british soldiers and airmen served alongside. i lived there forfour years and these showed enormous courage in standing up. these are not foreigners, these other afghan brothers and sister and to see this destruction is heartbreaking, especially when so unnecessary. 10,000 nato soldiers and a000 afghan troops were maintaining that as we left we strip them of the combat power and there was no tomorrow and in doing so we abandoned the afghan people and this is the result. this is the decision that president biden and other nato leaders have taken. how long do you think we should have stayed in afghanistan? as president biden said the et�*s now are in future years we can carry on.
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biden said the et's now are in future years we can carry on. there were 2000 — future years we can carry on. there were 2000 ten _ future years we can carry on. there were 2000 ten kabul— future years we can carry on. there were 2000 ten kabul and - future years we can carry on. there were 2000 ten kabul and 50,000 | future years we can carry on. ii—ii” were 2000 ten kabul and 50,000 in the gulf and several since 1950. the american contribution since i9a5 has been up to several hundred thousand in the middle east. there we had strategic patience and because of that we won wars without fighting. we defeated the soviet union barely firing a shot because we held the line. we have kept the peace in cyprus and allowed the republic of cyprus and allowed the republic of cyprus and allowed peace in the turkish element as well because we have held the line. we have chosen here not to hold the line and it is political. here not to hold the line and it is olitical. ~ , ., ., ., ., political. why do we not have that strate . ic political. why do we not have that strategic patience, _ political. why do we not have that strategic patience, as _ political. why do we not have that strategic patience, as you - political. why do we not have that strategic patience, as you said? i | strategic patience, as you said? i think too many people think this is vietnam and by thinking it is so they have made it so.— vietnam and by thinking it is so they have made it so. there are some --eole they have made it so. there are some people who — they have made it so. there are some people who would _ they have made it so. there are some people who would say, _ they have made it so. there are some people who would say, for _
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they have made it so. there are some people who would say, for example i people who would say, for example the us bill is nearly $1 trillion. they are saying financially it is not sustainable.— not sustainable. that is a ridiculous _ not sustainable. that is a ridiculous argument. - not sustainable. that is a | ridiculous argument. that not sustainable. that is a i ridiculous argument. that is not sustainable. that is a - ridiculous argument. that is the money you have already spent. that is like saying i've spent £100 million building a house and now i can't afford to live in it. you won't get the £100 million back, the money is spent. you will not get it back. the sustaining operation for the us forces and nato forces in afghanistan was extremely cheap comparatively. 2500 people for the us is half the crew of a single us carrier. the us has ia carriers. this is not a significant troop deployment for the united states. what do you make of president biden saying the afghan military cannot and will not hold its own country, what is he saying?— what is he saying? what he is choosin: what is he saying? what he is choosing not _ what is he saying? what he is choosing not to _ what is he saying? what he is choosing not to recognise - what is he saying? what he is choosing not to recognise is l what is he saying? what he is i choosing not to recognise is that the united states has made three
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decisions which have undermined the afghan military, the first was the administration of president 0bama setting a timeline on us departure and then the trump administration negotiating behind the back of the afghan government with the taliban which is a bit like the us government negotiating with the ira during the 1980s behind the back of the british government. if they had done that imagine what london would have said. and the third is pulling out because in pulling out the us has removed the helicopters and contractors who service them and the logistic support the afghans relied upon. it is a bit like trailing somebody for as cycle race with the best kit and cycles and taking them to tokyo and chucking a rusty old tricycle at them and saying i have trained you, no win gold. shop they what should — trained you, no win gold. shop they what should the _ trained you, no win gold. shop they what should the uk _ trained you, no win gold. shop they what should the uk do? _ trained you, no win gold. shop they what should the uk do? we - trained you, no win gold. shop they what should the uk do? we have i trained you, no win gold. shop they - what should the uk do? we have heard from many that once the us troops
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pulled out they all had to pull out. could they have gone ahead without the us? ., ., ., , .., ., the us? nato leaders could have stum ed the us? nato leaders could have stumped up _ the us? nato leaders could have stumped up 2500 _ the us? nato leaders could have stumped up 2500 troops - the us? nato leaders could have stumped up 2500 troops easily l the us? nato leaders could have| stumped up 2500 troops easily if they are choosing to and have chosen not to so that means this is not just the us decision it it is a french and german and spanish and british decision, it is a decision ljy british decision, it is a decision by nato not to maintain this is no decision by nato not to evacuate those people who served alongside us which is frankly shameful. this is notjust which is frankly shameful. this is not just about interpreters which is frankly shameful. this is notjust about interpreters or guards, this is about people be trained in special forces to serve alongside us and helped us understand the territory through our agencies and our diplomats. this is the people who on our encouragement said schools for girls and these people are all at rest now. the real danger is we will see every female mp margaret and ministers strung up on street lamps and this is the
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decision i'm afraid has been taken. what do you make of taliban provinces are a change in narrative they are not the taliban of 20 years ago? they are not the taliban of 20 years auo? . they are not the taliban of 20 years aro? ., , they are not the taliban of 20 years ao? ., , . ., , they are not the taliban of 20 years auo? . , they are not the taliban of 20 years aro? ., , . ago? that is complete rubbish. we have seen it _ ago? that is complete rubbish. we have seen it where _ ago? that is complete rubbish. we have seen it where girls _ ago? that is complete rubbish. we have seen it where girls have - ago? that is complete rubbish. we have seen it where girls have been | have seen it where girls have been beaten and we know it is complete rubbish because they are fighting along with groups such as the east tucked islamic movement and al-qaeda and isis. —— east turk. tucked islamic movement and al-qaeda and isis. -- east turk.— and isis. -- east turk. there was a call for support _ and isis. -- east turk. there was a call for support and _ and isis. -- east turk. there was a call for support and sir— and isis. -- east turk. there was a call for support and sir keir- call for support and sir keir starmer says we need an urgent meeting with nato. is that in the
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works? i meeting with nato. is that in the works? ., �* ~ ., ., , works? i don't know what is in the works? i don't know what is in the works because _ works? i don't know what is in the works because we _ works? i don't know what is in the works because we have _ works? i don't know what is in the works because we have not - works? i don't know what is in the works because we have not heard | works? i don't know what is in the - works because we have not heard from the foreign secretary in a week despite this being the biggest foreign policy disaster since suess so i do not know what the foreign office is thinking. but india's presidency of the united nation's council is an important moment and i hope it will bring people together. —— suez. this is about the chinese and pakistani government in russia and pakistani government in russia and india and we need to get as many people as possible out of kabul as possible. the city has been encircled and may hold for a few hours a few days but the reality is the amount of water and electricity and sewerage you need to sustain the population means that actually unless it is united with its hinterland it will rapidly become overrun anyway.— hinterland it will rapidly become overrun anyway. thank you for your
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time. events have been unfolding fast in afghanistan. firing has been heard at several points around kabul kabul with reports taliban forces are within the vicinity. 0ur south asia regional editor, anbarasan ethirajan is following the latest developments, from delhi. we have not had any confirmation about _ we have not had any confirmation about taliban militants entering the city but _ about taliban militants entering the city but we know the presidential palace _ city but we know the presidential palace tweeted a few minutes ago, i am giving _ palace tweeted a few minutes ago, i am giving you a rough translation, saying _ am giving you a rough translation, saying there has been some gunfire being _ saying there has been some gunfire being heard but the security forces are controlling the security situation. this is from a tweet from the presidential palace. the second
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one is— the presidential palace. the second one is the _ the presidential palace. the second one is the taliban

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