Celebratory gunfire echoed across Kabul as Taliban fighters took control of the war-torn country following the withdrawal of the last United States (US) troops, ending 20 years of war.

Speaking to reporters from Kabul airport on Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “We do not have any doubt that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a free and sovereign nation.”

“America was defeated… and on behalf of my nation, we want to have good relations with the rest of the world,” he said.


Officials said the last C17 aircraft took off with the US ambassador onboard after midnight local time on Tuesday.

They added that the diplomatic mission to assist those unable to leave before the deadline would continue.

The US and its allies have mounted the biggest air evacuation in history, bringing 114,000 of their own citizens and Afghans who helped them over 20 years of war in Afghanistan, but they will still leave behind thousands of Afghans who helped Western countries and might have qualified for evacuation.