Taliban sweep into Afghan capital after government collapses

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The Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital after the embattled president joined the exodus of his fellow citizens and foreigners. The fall of Kabul signals the end of a costly two-decade U.S. campaign to remake the country. Heavily armed Taliban fighters fanned out across the capital, and several entered Kabul’s abandoned presidential palace. A Taliban spokesman told The Associated Press that the militants would hold talks in the coming days aimed at forming an “open, inclusive Islamic government.” Helicopters raced to evacuate personnel from the U.S. Embassy. Smoke rose near the compound as staff destroyed important documents, and the American flag was lowered.

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