Three Afghan officials told the Associated Press that the Taliban were in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman. NBC News could not independently verify this claim.
It came as U.S. forces continued to evacuate staff from the city’s American Embassy. NBC News witnessed helicopters flying in and out of the compound on a regular basis.
“Until a peace agreement is agreed, the security of the city and its residents is the responsibility of the government and they should guarantee it,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.
In a separate statement to NBC News, a Taliban spokesman told NBC News that those entering were unarmed on instructions from senior commanders.
Mujahid said that the militant group’s fighters would “be on standby on all entrances of Kabul until a peaceful and satisfactory transfer of power is agreed.”
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The Taliban “do not wish to take revenge,” he said, adding that govenrnment and military workers would “be forgiven” and placed under the group’s protection.
Elsewhere in the city, U.S. forces continued to evacuate staff from the U.S. Embassy.
“We have a small batch of people leaving now as we speak, a majority of the staff are ready to leave,” a U.S. official told Reuters on Sunday. “The embassy continues to function.”
Thousands of civilians are also living in parks and open spaces in Kabul. While the city appeared calm Sunday, some ATMs have stopped distributing money.
Hundreds of people also gathered in front of private banks, trying to withdraw their life savings.
President Joe Biden said Saturday that he had ordered a total of 5,000 troops to the region, up from his original number of 3,000.
He added that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan has to end.
“One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country,” Biden said. “And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.”
In a nationwide offensive that has taken just over a week, the Taliban has defeated, co-opted or sent Afghan security forces fleeing from wide swaths of the country, even though they had some air support from the U.S. military.
The group continued to make gains on Sunday, capturing the Maidan Shar, the capital of the Maidan Wardak province on Sunday. The city sits around 55 miles from Kabul, Afghan lawmaker Hamida Akbari and the Taliban said.
Later, Afghan forces at Bagram air base, home to a prison housing 5,000 inmates, surrendered to the Taliban, Bagram district chief Darwaish Raufi told the AP. The prison housed both Taliban and Islamic State group fighters.
Earlier on Sunday, the insurgents also captured the eastern city of Jalalabad, giving them control of one of the main highways into landlocked Afghanistan. They also took over the nearby Torkham border post with Pakistan, leaving Kabul airport the only way out of Afghanistan that is still in government hands.
These came after Mazar-e-Sharif, the country’s fourth largest city fell Saturday, given the insurgents control over all of northern Afghanistan.
Taliban enter Kabul, seek transfer of power as U.S. evacuates from Afghanistan’s capital is written by Rhea Mogul for www.nbcnews.com