The Taliban has started rounding up weapons belonging to civilians and those in the security profession, as the militant group firms up its control over the Afghan capital and thousands flee.
On Monday, the Taliban started entering premises around the captured Afghan capital of Kabul and began seizing weapons. A representative of the militant group said that people no longer needed to keep weapons for safety, confirming that it had started collecting firearms.
The Taliban official told Reuters that they understood why people kept weapons in the past but said there was no need anymore. The representative noted that the Taliban had no intention of harming innocent civilians.
Afghan news agency TOLOnews said on Twitter that the Taliban had entered its premises, checked security staff weapons, and collected government-issued firearms. The Taliban “agreed to keep the compound safe,” the tweet adds.
Saad Mohseni, director of the MOBY Group media company, also said on Twitter that the militants had come to their compound to enquire about the weapons held by their security team.
Major changes to daily life were observed by journalists just hours after Taliban forces entered the capital. Women were absent from the city’s streets, adverts featuring women were whitewashed, and Western dress was replaced by traditional Afghan attire. There is also considerable concern as to whether young girls will return to school as the Islamist group stamps enforces its rule over the country.
With the Afghan capital under Taliban control, thousands descended on Kabul’s airport on Monday in an effort to escape the new regime. As many as five reportedly died when US troops opened fire into the air in an attempt at crowd control as crowds stormed the airport.
Over the last month, as Allied troops extracted themselves, the Taliban established control over the country it last ruled in 2001. The militant group quickly overran the Afghan security forces, which according to the CIA Factbook, numbered some 307,000.