The Taliban has claimed victory in Afghanistan after taking over the capital Kabul, bringing to a swift end almost 20 years of a US-led coalition’s presence in the country.

Fighters have seized the presidential palace. The government has collapsed, with President Ashraf Ghani fleeing.

A spokesman for the group has told news network Al Jazeera: “The war is over.”

Kabul has descended into chaos, and residents and foreign nationals have been trying to escape.

At the capital’s international airport, an eyewitness told the BBC that staff had abandoned their desks and people were running to planes.

The US has moved all of its embassy staff to the airport. The US military has secured the perimeter and is in the process of taking over air traffic control to evacuate American and allied personnel from the country, said the State Department.

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