President Ashraf Ghani has left Afghanistan for Tajikistan as Taliban closes in on Kabul, according to the country’s top peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah.
Ghani’s departure comes amid negotiations for a peaceful transfer of power after Taliban fighters encircled Kabul after capturing 26 of the country’s 34 provincial capitals in less than two weeks.
“The former Afghan president has left the nation,” Abdullah, the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said in a video on his Facebook page.
Meanwhile, a Taliban official told Reuters they were checking reports about Ghani’s departure from the country.
On Sunday, Taliban troops surrounded Afghanistan’s seat of power, promising it had instructed its fighters to refrain from violence and offer safe passage to anyone wishing to leave Kabul.