US Embassy in Kabul suspends operations after troops complete withdrawal

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The US Embassy in Kabul suspended operations on Tuesday, Aug. 31, the embassy’s website said.

“While the US government has withdrawn its personnel from Kabul, we will continue to assist US citizens and their families in Afghanistan from Doha, Qatar”, the website said.

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Celebratory gunfire echoed across Kabul as Taliban fighters took control of the airport before dawn on Tuesday following the withdrawal of the last US troops, ending 20 years of war that left the extremist group stronger than it was in 2001.

Shaky video footage distributed by the Taliban showed fighters entering the airport after the last US troops took off a minute before midnight, marking the end of a hasty and humiliating exit for Washington and its NATO allies.

The US Army shared an image taken with night-vision optics of the last US soldier to step aboard the final evacuation flight out of Kabul - Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.

America’s longest war took the lives of nearly 2,500 US troops and an estimated 240,000 Afghans, and cost some $2 trillion.

Although it succeeded in driving the Taliban from power and stopped Afghanistan being used as a base by al-Qaeda to attack the US, it ended with the extremist group controlling more of the country than they ever did during their previous rule from 1996 to 2001.

Those years were marked by the brutal enforcement of the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, and the world is now watching to see whether it forms a more moderate and inclusive government in the months ahead.

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