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Where did the Afghan president flee to?

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday he had left the country to avoid bloodshed as the Taliban entered the capital Kabul.

Update:
(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 28, 2021, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani looks on while attending a Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board meeting (JCMB) at the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul. - Ghani said on August 15 after flee
SAJJAD HUSSAINAFP

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday he had left the country to avoid bloodshed as the Taliban entered the capital Kabul.

In a post on his Facebook page, Ghani said he had faced a difficult decision, with the fate of millions of Kabul residents and the security of the city at stake after 20 years of war in which countless numbers had already been killed.

"To avoid bloodshed, I thought it would be better to leave," he said in his first comments since quitting the presidential palace and flying out of the country.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 2, 2021, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a meeting at the Afghan Parliament house in Kabul. - Ghani said on August 15 after fleeing the country that the Taliban had won, as the militants entere
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(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 2, 2021, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a meeting at the Afghan Parliament house in Kabul. - Ghani said on August 15 after fleeing the country that the Taliban had won, as the militants entereWAKIL KOHSARAFP

He added that the Taliban insurgents, who later entered the presidential palace in Kabul, now faced an historic test.

"The Taliban won victory in the judgment of sword and gun and they have responsibility to protect the honour, prosperity and self-respect of our compatriots," he said.

He did not disclose details on his current location. The news channel Al Jazeera, citing a personal bodyguard of the president, said Ghani, his wife, his chief of staff and national security adviser had flown to Tashkent in neighbouring Uzbekistan.

Russian embassy standpoint

Russia's embassy in Kabul said on Monday that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash and had to leave some money behind as it would not all fit in, the RIA news agency reported.

Ghani said he left Afghanistan on Sunday as the Taliban entered Kabul virtually unopposed. He said he wanted to avoid bloodshed.

Russia has said it will retain a diplomatic presence in Kabul and hopes to develop ties with the Taliban even as it says it is no rush to recognise them as the country's rulers and will closely observe their behaviour.

Bern (Switzerland), 16/08/2021.- People protest in front of the parliament building in support of Afghanistan and against the Taliban, in Bern, Switzerland, 16 august 2021. Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar on 16 August 20201 declared victory and end
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Bern (Switzerland), 16/08/2021.- People protest in front of the parliament building in support of Afghanistan and against the Taliban, in Bern, Switzerland, 16 august 2021. Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar on 16 August 20201 declared victory and endPETER KLAUNZEREFE

"As for the collapse of the (outgoing) regime, it is most eloquently characterised by the way Ghani fled Afghanistan,"

Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul, was quoted as saying by RIA.

"Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac," he was quoted as saying.

Ischenko, the Russian embassy spokesman, confirmed his comments to Reuters. He cited  witnesses" as the source of his information. The veracity of his account could not be immediately confirmed.

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