Taliban seize presidential palace in Kabul as Western diplomats flee

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Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.Zabi Karimi | APWASHINGTON — The Taliban seized the presidential palace in the war-weary Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday, a dramatic development that marks the apparent end to a 20-year American era in the country.The stunning revelation comes hours after Taliban insurgents pushed their frontlines into Kabul after a succession of shocking battlefield reversals, spurred by the exodus of U.S. and coalition forces.Earlier on Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as Western nations rushed to evacuate embassies amid a deteriorating security situation.Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who appeared on several Sunday news programs, fell short of saying that the U.S. Embassy in Kabul would effectively be abandoned. He added that a "core diplomatic presence" will now be headquartered at the Hamid Karzai
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