Taliban declare victory in Afghanistan with fireworks, gunfire after final US troops leave

Celebratory gunfire and fireworks echoed across Kabul overnight after the last US troops took off from the airport, ending 20 years of war in Afghanistan, and leaving the country in full control of the Taliban.

Taliban fighters seized control of the airport before dawn on Tuesday, with spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid saying they wanted to establish diplomatic relations with the United States despite two decades of hostility.

Forced into a hasty exit, Washington and its NATO allies carried out a massive but chaotic airlift over the past two weeks, but still left behind tens of thousands of Afghans who helped Western countries and might have qualified for evacuation.

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