The Afghan president Ghani is relinquishing power to the Taliban

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Taliban fighters have officially entered Kabul, with negotiators for the militant group now thought to be in the presidential palace preparing for a “peaceful transfer of power”.

Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani is reportedly in the process of relinquishing power before an interim government, led by the Taliban, is formed, an official told the AP news agency.

[Taliban capture Afghanistan’s second and third largest cities, as embassies race to evacuate staff]

It comes as Taliban militants released a statement on Sunday to say they did not have any plans to take Kabul, the Afghan capital, by force. “No one’s life, property and dignity will be harmed and the lives of the citizens of Kabul will not be at risk,” Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said.

[Afghan forces engage Taliban in fierce battle, as U.S. fears capital Kabul could fall in 90 days]

Meanwhile, arrangements are said to be in the making for Sir Laurie Bristow, the British ambassador to Afghanistan, to be airlifted out of Kabul by Monday evening. The diplomat had been rumoured to stay put in Kabul International Airport but, according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph, officials decided Sir Laurie should return to the UK.

Source: The Independent