A statement issued by the Taliban on Sunday appealed for calm in the capital, Kabul, and offered assurances to its residents. It said its fighters were now closing in on the city, and wanted to seize control there “peacefully.”
The statement, issued by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said the group was “assuring all the banks, businesses, money exchange shops that they will be safe and protected under the Taliban and nobody would touch or bother anyone in Kabul.”
“All the wealthy people, the businessmen, they should be safe and protected. None of the Taliban are allowed to go to any houses or conduct searches on businesses and the Islamic Emirate gives them full protection and they should be safe and not worry,” Zabihullah said.
Tensions are running high in the capital after key cities including Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif fell to the militant group overnight. Video from the city in the last 24 hours show Afghans waiting en masse at ATMs as people tried to withdraw cash, while photos show long queues at the passport office where others are trying to get their documents in order.
Zabihullah also said those who had fought against the Taliban had nothing to fear.
“The people who are trying to fight against us, we suggest to them not to do so and they will be fully protected. They can leave as ordinary people.”
He continued: “We will never ask about their past or who they were and we would like to take the city peacefully. They shouldn’t worry about us. We are normal people And the people who work for the Kabul government, in the military or other offices, they will all be forgiven and they’re all our brothers.”