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Taliban seek to project calm as US speeds chaotic evacuation

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Posted at 5:23 AM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 07:35:17-04

The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistan’s airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital.

The militants, meanwhile, sought to project calm amid widespread fears of looting and violence.

The Taliban swept into the capital on Sunday after the Western-backed government collapsed and the president fled the country.

Thousands of Afghans, fearing a return to the Taliban’s brutal rule, are trying to flee.

Videos circulating on social media showed hundreds of people racing across the tarmac of the international airport as U.S. soldiers fired warning shots in the air.

The U.S. Embassy has been evacuated and the American flag was lowered.

Over the past several weeks, the U.S. has been removing troops from the region ahead of an Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline set by the Biden administration. The withdrawal comes after the Trump administration negotiated a peace deal with the Taliban in 2020.