September 20, 2021

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- It has become like a prison - Viji

– It has become like a prison – Viji

History: This picture taken on Sunday shows Taliban fighters inside American Humvee inside Kabul. Photo: Jim Hoolebrook / New York Times

Within hours, the Taliban were able to seize control of Kabul. Residents tell Viji about Terror Day.

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– On behalf of my friends, I feel sorry for everyone who has hopes and dreams. Marcia, 21, says in a phone call from Kabul that she fears for her family and future.

Sunday began in recent days with the latest updates that the Taliban were approaching the capital and growing concern about what would happen.

But she went to university to take the English exam she recently took. Marcia was very happy because she was in the top three in the class.

– But then came the news that the Taliban were moving into the city. It was horrible, I was so scared. Suddenly the Taliban were on my streets.

Taliban: Inside Kabul, Taliban militants have now taken control. Photo: AFP

Heard the shooting

On the way home we suddenly heard a noise and we ran in all directions. Someone nearby was shot dead and I think the Taliban were behind it, he says.

He says Sunday is very low and uncertain.

Traffic was halted in large parts of Kabul, with people leaving work and leaving schools to reach their homes. Many chose to walk or run for safety.

U.S. helicopters are on shuttle transport to evacuate their embassy staff. In the evening, the American flag was removed and the US ambassador fled Kabul.

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The president also left the country, announcing that the Taliban would announce a new name for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

For 20 years, Western forces, including Norway, have sought to eliminate the Taliban. But the militant group has now withdrawn from the country in a matter of days, shocking scientists, civilians and Western leaders.

Evacuation: US helicopters evacuate personnel from the US Embassy in Kabul. Photo: Rahmat Gul / AP

Fear that the daughter will be scared

– This is one of the hardest days of my life. Before the news of the Taliban’s infiltration came, the day at work began as usual. It was confusing to everyone and the traffic was congested.

Azad, 32, lives in the capital, Kabul, on humanitarian grounds.

– All the shops were closed and everyone tried to return home to their families.

He returned home to the family after a four-hour walk. Outside it was dark and he says he heard gunshots.

– My daughter is nine years old and she asks why they shoot. She knew what the Taliban meant, so I did not dare tell her that they had captured the city. If I tell her, she will panic, he says.

Escapes: Afghans march through the streets following rumors that the Taliban have captured the city. Photo: STRINGER / EPA

Uncertainty and rumors recur when Viji talks to Kabul residents. Asad is also aware of this unrest.

– Everyone is scared. Today they have shown their good side, but we have experience, we have lived before. We know how horrible they really are.

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He fears that he will have to grow his beard too far and follow the strict Sharia laws that the Taliban follow.

When it is quiet, if they take the land, it will not always be the same. I have no place to live here. We will lose our freedom.

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Feel free to read this in the background: The Eternal War in Afghanistan

-I feel like I was imprisoned in my own country, says 21-year-old student Marcia.

She doesn’t know what the next time will be, but she hopes she can continue reading. Sitting at home is questionable.

In many areas captured by the Taliban, there are reports that they are forcing women not to go to work and that they must have a male bodyguard to go outside.

– I do not want the Taliban to stop women and girls who want to read and follow our dreams. I want to fight for our rights in all the ways I can.

– I thought I’d run away, but where are we going? All countries have closed their borders. No one wants to help the people of Afghanistan, he says.