Afghans are adjusting to their new reality after the Taliban took Kabul on Sunday afternoon, sealing their control of the country.
Here’s where things currently stand:
There is chaos at Kabul's airport: Scores of civilians are trying to flee the country, with chaotic scenes continuing to unfold at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai international airport.
Several men or youths were seen on video clinging to the fuselage of a US military C-17 aircraft as it taxied the runway on Monday afternoon, with scores more watching or running alongside the plane, some of whom were underneath the engines. A US military Apache helicopter was also seen swooping low over the tarmac in what appeared to be an effort to disperse the crowds of civilians, desperately trying to leave.
The US military has since suspended air operations while US troops try to clear the airfield of Afghans who have flooded the airfield, a US defense official told CNN. The temporary suspension is “while we make sure the airfield is secure,” the official said.
Witnesses CNN has spoken to at the airport in Kabul also said they have heard gunshots fired throughout the day. It's unclear if the shots were fired at people or in the air to disperse crowds.
While flights at the Kabul airport are closed off to civilian aviation, evacuation flights are still being able to take off, data tracking shows.
France and Finland are the latest countries to close their Kabul embassies and evacuate its staff whilst Britain’s first flight carrying UK nationals and embassy staff has now arrived in the UK.
The streets of the capital feel eerie and surreal: In the capital, Taliban fighters are relaxed and jubilant, guarding the US embassy and the presidential palace.
The militant group is now everywhere in the capital, walking the streets of Kabul with ease (and with American weapons in hand.)
CNN spoke with a handful of Taliban fighters in Kabul on Monday morning, who said that their current focus is to ensure a smooth transition of power. But outside the US embassy, some were chanting death to America, with smiles on their faces.
Throughout, the Taliban’s influence on the city is becoming visible, with men proactively painting over images of uncovered women outside of several beauty salons.
The Taliban are signaling what the future will look like: Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told CNN Sunday that the new Taliban government will include non-Taliban Afghans but said it would be “premature” right now to name who the officials will be.
When asked if the Taliban will call on the current Afghan army and police to join Taliban security forces, Shaheen said all those handing over their weapons and joining Taliban forces will be granted amnesty, and that their lives and property would be secure.
Shaheen also said Taliban policies regarding the education for girls and women is clear and that women can continue education from primary to higher education.
The Taliban official said the success of the military offensive was because the group has “roots among the people,” calling it a “popular uprising of the people.” He said diplomats and journalists in Afghanistan can continue to work, including the American embassy.
Former President Ashraf Ghani is no where to be seen: The Taliban took control of the presidential palace in Kabul yesterday after ousted President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Ghani was rumored to have fled to neighboring Tajikistan, but in a statement on Monday, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the Afghan president has entered the country or been in its airspace. It is still unclear where Ghani is.
Following his departure on Sunday, Ghani said in a Facebook post that he will “always continue to serve my nation through offering ideas and programs."
“Today, I came across a hard choice; if I should stand to face the armed Taliban who wanted to enter the palace, or leave the dear country that I dedicated my life to protecting and caring for the past twenty years,” he said. "In order to avoid the flood of bloodshed, I thought it was best to get out,” he added
US refugee resettlement agencies are preparing for a large influx of Afghan arrivals: The Department of Defense will potentially relocate up to 30,000 Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants to the US, according to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby.
Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort McCoy in Wisconsin have the capability to house these applicants, Kirby said.