Timeline: Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan

On Sunday, Taliban fighters appear on the edge of Kabul after a lightning offensive launched in May as US and NATO troops began to withdraw.

Taliban fighters on a pick-up truck move around a market area, flocked with local Afghan people at the Kote Sangi area of Kabul on August 17, 2021, after Taliban seized control of the capital following the collapse of the Afghan government. Picture: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP

PARIS - Here are the main developments since the Taliban seized Kabul, taking power again in Afghanistan after two decades of war.

LIGHTNING TAKEOVER

On Sunday, Taliban fighters appear on the edge of Kabul after a lightning offensive launched in May as US and NATO troops began to withdraw.

In the space of 10 days, they seized city after city across the country with little or no resistance.

'PEACEFUL TRANSFER'

As the Taliban pour into the suburbs, embattled President Ashraf Ghani urges government forces to maintain security in the capital.

He flees hours later.

The Taliban say they want a "peaceful transfer of power".

'THE TALIBAN HAVE WON'

Television images show the Taliban seizing the presidential palace.

In a Facebook post, Ghani says the "Taliban have won" and that he fled to avoid a "flood of bloodshed".

AIRPORT CHAOS

Frightened people besiege Kabul airport, the only exit route from the country. Chaos breaks out on the tarmac as people try to rush aircraft.

All military and civilian flights are halted, before resuming Monday evening.

'TERRORISM SANCTUARY' FEARS

China becomes the first country to say it is ready to deepen "friendly and cooperative" relations with the Taliban.

It later accuses Washington of "leaving an awful mess".

The UN Security Council says the country must not become a breeding ground for terrorism.

French President Emmanuel Macron pledges a robust European approach against illegal migration in the wake of the takeover.

BIDEN DEFENDS EXIT

US President Joe Biden cuts short his holiday to address the nation Tuesday, insisting he has no regrets and emphasises that US troops cannot defend a nation whose leaders "gave up and fled".

GO BACK TO WORK

The Taliban tell civil servants in Kabul to resume their duties "without any fear". Some shops reopen and evacuation flights from the city's airport restart.

'SHAMEFUL' FOR WEST

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the chaotic scenes at Kabul airport are "shameful for the West".

NATO BLAMES AFGHANS

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg blames Afghan leaders for the "tragedy".

Russia says the Taliban's initial assurances are a "positive signal".

TALIBAN LEADER RETURNS

Within hours of Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar returning to Afghanistan, the group says it will be "different" this time. It will pardon its enemies and women will not have to wear the all-enveloping burqa.

'WOMEN CAN WORK'

At their first press conference since seizing power, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says the Taliban will let "women work in accordance with the principles of Islam".

Girls return to school in Taliban-held Herat.

EU 'MUST TALK' TO TALIBAN

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says the bloc will have to talk to the Taliban.

ICC: POSSIBLE VIOLATIONS

Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, says reports of crimes during the Taliban advance may amount to violations of international law.

FLEEING KABUL

Despite the Taliban's conciliatory tone, Afghans and foreigners continue to flee Kabul.

A top US general says Thursday the US has airlifted 7,000 people since evacuations began on August 14.

HOUSE-TO-HOUSE HUNT

After the Taliban kill a relative of a journalist for the German state broadcaster as they search for the reporter, a UN intelligence report Friday says militants have been conducting "targeted door-to-door visits" searching for opponents and their families.

A German civilian is also shot on his way to Kabul airport.

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