Afghanistan: Panic and disbelief as thousands flee Taliban onslaught

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The UN has urged Afghanistan’s neighbours to keep their borders open as the number of civilians fleeing the Taliban onslaught swells.

Thousands of those internally displaced have been arriving in Kabul, seeing the capital as their last safe refuge.

Food shortages are “dire”, the World Food Programme (WFP) said. It warned of a humanitarian catastrophe.

On Friday, the Taliban seized the country’s second-largest city Kandahar, the latest provincial capital to fall.

The southern city of 600,000 people was once the Taliban’s stronghold, and is strategically important because of its international airport, agricultural and industrial output.

The insurgents also took the nearby city of Lashkar Gah, and now control about a third of Afghanistan’s provincial capitals.

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