The fall of Kabul
The Taliban celebrate full takeover
The last US planes to take off
The last US soldier to leave
Grief
Victims of US airstrike
Rockets and explosions in Kabul
The view with day to go before US troops were withdrawn
An attack was 'very likely' according to Biden
The explosions
Bodies left outside
Relatives take their family's bodies
Abdul Raouf was about to find safety
Mushtaq
What's left
An act of terror
'Stability in Afghanistan'
Innocent people crammed together
Evacuations continued despite the attack
Still waiting to leave
Life goes on in limbo
Stranded
Aide given from overseas
Desperate times
Keeping the marooned Afghans alive
Unable to make it to the airport
The greatest victims
Girls' schools remained shut
Horror for many
Taliban forces kept control
Day and night
Scenes at the Kabul International Airport
August 23rd
A rush to the airport
A violent regime
Chaos
Taliban takeover
Thousands and thousands of people tried to flee
Panic and desperation
Patience at a time like this
Acts of despair
Kabul airport - mobbed
Some escaped
Some were left behind
Returning to the new regime
A city clean-up
Evacuated
A ghostly silence as many wait
A new world
Women's rights
Not a peaceful takeover
Many wounded
Awaiting smugglers
A long walk for some
Two days between hope and despair
Standing in line for a chance at a visa
Trying to leave
Waiting for the French
At the French embassy
The violence the Afghans are used to
Thousands had come to Kabul for help
Families fled with nothing
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The fall of Kabul

August 2021 - the Taliban take over Kabul while American troops leave the country. A historic event whose images will stay with the global community beyond the end of the year.

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The Taliban celebrate full takeover

Celebratory fireworks and gunfire, set off by the Taliban, lit up the night sky in the early morning of 31st August, as the final US aircrafts took off from the Kabul airport. The US military announced it had completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan after a brutal 20-year war - one that started and ended with the extremist Islamist Taliban in power, despite billions of dollars spent trying to rebuild the country which was haunted by conflict.

(Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

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The last US planes to take off

Planes were seen on the tarmac at the airport in Kabul late on August 30, just hours ahead of a US deadline to complete its frenzied withdrawal from Afghanistan. Many were wondering if they would take off in time.

(Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

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The last US soldier to leave

This is the shot released by XVIII Airborne Corps Twitter page which shows the last US troop leaving Afghanistan. Although a few hundred Americans still remain in Kabul - those who have deep roots in the city - the last military took off in US planes in the early hours of 31st August 2021. A date to be remembered.

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Grief

Many grieve the lives that were lost in the final days leading up to the US withdrawal. This man grieved for the 10 Afghans, members of the same family, who were killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Monday 30th August.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times - discoloration by The Daily Digest)

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Victims of US airstrike

Islamic prayers were recited by many Afghans, as around 200 people attended the mass funeral for the 10 people, who lost their lives from the US drone strike. The car was said to be carrying more explosives and was en route to the airport for another planned attack.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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Rockets and explosions in Kabul

The view after the rocket hit a residential area near Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul on 30th August. The recent attacks in Kabul have seemed to be a preview of Afghanistan's violent future under the Taliban, despite the group's insistence that it would bring stability and order to a country that hasn't seen much of either in decades.

(Photo: Haroon Sabawoon / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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The view with day to go before US troops were withdrawn

Taliban fighters stood guard near a damaged car after multiple rockets were fired. They flew across the Afghan capital on August 30 as the US raced to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty)

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An attack was 'very likely' according to Biden

Reportedly, at least five rockets were fired at the Afghan capital Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport. Local sources confirmed the rockets were fired but intercepted via defense systems installed at the airport. Casualties were feared: 10 civilians and 7 possible children. US President Joe Biden had warned an attack was 'very likely', as the clock was ticking for the full withdrawal of US forces by the deadline, Tuesday 31st, set by the Taliban.

(Photo: Haroon Sabawoon / Anadolu Agency via Getty)

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The explosions

On August 26th 2021, this photo was taken which shows the smoke rising in the distance after the two reported explosions at Kabul airport.

(Photo: Haroon Sabawoon /Anadolu Agency via Getty)

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Bodies left outside

The aftermath of the 2 explosions in Kabul meant chaos in the capital city. Dead bodies were seen in body bags outside of the Vezir Ekber Han Hospital the day after the explosion at Hamid Karzai International Airport. More than 110 people died, 150 were injured.

(Photo: Wali Sabawoon /Anadolu Agency via Getty)

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Relatives take their family's bodies

Relatives transported the coffin of a victim in the boot of their car. This fatality was due to the bombs on August 26th.

(Photo: Aamir Qureshi / AFP via Getty)

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Abdul Raouf was about to find safety

In the aftermath of the Kabul explosions, relatives of Abdul Raouf, who was killed in the deadly bombing attacks at the entrance to the Kabul Airport, grieved during his funeral on Martyrs Hill on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 27, 2021. Abdul Raouf had received a U.S. visa just days before and was set to leave Afghanistan with his wife and daughter, ages 2 and 4.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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Mushtaq

Relatives of Mushtaq, who was killed in the deadly bombing attacks, proceed with burying his body during his funeral on Martyrs Hill. This photo was taken just 24 hours after the bombing, which was claimed by Islamic State's affiliate in Afghanistan and the full measure of the slaughter was still unclear. The death toll proceeded to jump from 90 Afghans to at least 169, in addition to 13 U.S. service personnel.

(Photo: Marcus Yam/ LA Times)

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What's left

These are the backpacks and belongings of Afghan people who were waiting to be evacuated. This is the scene of the site of the August 26 bombs, which killed many, including 13 US troops, at Kabul airport.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty)

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An act of terror

On the evening of the explosion, two boys were pictured embracing each other as they wept in the parking area at Wazir Akbar Khan hospital. Twin bombings had struck near the entrance to Kabul's airport, ripping through crowds of Afghans and foreign nationals waiting for evacuation from the country. The explosions complicated an already-nightmarish airlift just before the U.S. deadline to remove its troops from the country.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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'Stability in Afghanistan'

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid gave an exclusive interview on August 29, 2021 in Kabul. He said "We will launch a probe into the rocket strike. We want stability in Afghanistan and will ensure peace in Kabul. We assure that everybody is safe and there is no enmity with anybody."

(Photo: Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Innocent people crammed together

This is the view taken the day before the explosions, giving us an insight of just how many innocent people were in the area when the explosions happened. British and American security forces tired to maintain order outside the Abbey Gate, where the Afghan evacuees were crammed together in a canal and any open space, waiting to be evacuated.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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Evacuations continued despite the attack

Evacuations continued from Kabul airport. Here, a US plane is seen taking off after the explosions hit crowds outside the Kabul airport.

(Photo by Haroon Sabawoon / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Still waiting to leave

Afghans, hoping to leave Afghanistan, continued to queue at the main entrance gate of Kabul airport, despite the devastation that had rocked the city days before.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images)

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Life goes on in limbo

Three days after the attack, Afghan families continued their lives at the tents they set up at a park in Kabul. These are the Afghan families who were displaced due to the clashes which erupted in the Taliban take over period.

(Photo: Haroon Sabawoon / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Stranded

Evacuations had continued for weeks from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. These are the Turkish police who had stepped in to try and provide aide for those who needed it most, after spending days waiting to be transported from a country that has no future for them.

(Photo: Turkish Ministry of Interior / Handout / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Aide given from overseas

Any supplies are greatly received for those stranded and who simply can't return to their homes. The Turkish soldiers also worked on the coordination of the evacuation in a headquarters building named "Ankara".

(Photo: Aykut Karadag / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Desperate times

These desperate Afghans had been waiting for days, having set up camp by the airport. The soldiers of Turkish Task Force in Afghanistan were on duty in and around Hamid Karzai International Airport to help people who were waiting for evacuation, in Kabul.

(Photo: Aykut Karadag / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Keeping the marooned Afghans alive

As aide came in, the Turkish Task Force in Afghanistan delivered to those in need.

(Photo: Aykut Karadag / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Unable to make it to the airport

A week into the Taliban rule, military transport planes were still taking off, while Afghans who could not get into the airport to evacuate, watch and wonder while stranded outside.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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The greatest victims

Children, among the biggest victims of the evacuations, were suffering in soaring temperatures of over 35 degrees. Parched with thirst, they received water and food, distributed by Turkish soldiers as thousands still waited outside the airport a week after the Taliban takeover.

(Photo: Aykut Karadag / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Girls' schools remained shut

As well as children, women lost the most from this takeover. Being a female child at the moment in Afghanistan is tough. The all-girl Zarghuna High School, with more than 8,000 students, was locked and shuttered, awaiting orders from the Education Ministry.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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Horror for many

A man cried as he watched fellow citizens get wounded after Taliban fighters used whatever they can find as weapons to maintain crowd control.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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Taliban forces kept control

This is the scene of the Taliban fighters in a vehicle patrol as they watched over the streets of Kabul on August 23, 2021. The Taliban had enforced some sense of calm in a city long marred by violent crime, with their armed forces patrolling the streets and manning checkpoints.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images)

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Day and night

The people waited relentlessly, trying to put forward their cases to those soldiers who were controlling the airport. This is the foreign military-controlled part of the airport in Kabul, as hundreds were still hoping to flee the country following the Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images)

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Scenes at the Kabul International Airport

The Kabul International Airport was at the front of headlines for weeks, as thousands of Afghans rushed to flee the Afghan capital of Kabul. There were those who, despite the strong forces trying to remove them from the airport, remained waiting a week later. Still in hope that foreign aid would come for them.

(Photo: Aykut Karadag / Anadolu Agency)

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August 23rd

People who wanted to flee the country continued to wait around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 23, six days after the initial airport rush.

(Photo: Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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A rush to the airport

On August, 17, thousands of Afghans rushed to the Kabul International Airport as they deserted their homes after a very quick end to the 20-year Afghanistan war.

(Photo: Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat / Anadolu Agency)

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A violent regime

The people of Afghanistan woke up to a new leadership after the country's government had collapsed and the Taliban taken control of the capital city of Kabul. Near the Kabul Airport, at least half dozen were wounded, including a women and her child, as the violence swiftly escalated on August 17.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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Chaos

As soon as it was known that foreign countries would be evacuating people, even without visas, the country turned to chaos. People struggled to cross the boundary wall of Hamid Karzai International Airport to escape the Taliban rule.

(Photo: STR/NurPhoto)

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Taliban takeover

Over the previous months, the Taliban had gained control of increasing territories around the country. US president Joe Biden had announced in April 2021 that all American forces would leave the country by 11 September.

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Thousands and thousands of people tried to flee

The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, had stormed Kabul after President Ashraf Ghani fled to Uzbekistan on August 15. Thereupon, thousands of Afghans rushed to the Hamid Karzai International Airport to find safety.

(Photo: Haroon Sabawoon / Anadolu Agency)

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Panic and desperation

The scenes from the airport were chilling. Here, a volunteer carries an injured man as other people can be seen waiting at the Kabul airport on August 16. It was a dash of panic and desperation by many as they tried to escape the extreme Islamist rule.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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Patience at a time like this

Afghans crowded the airport as US soldiers stood guard in Kabul. There was nothing for them to do but wait.

(Photo: Shakib Rahmani / AFP)

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Acts of despair

Not wanting to be left behind, people climbed atop a plane as they waited at the airport in Kabul.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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Kabul airport - mobbed

The airport was completely overrun. Soldiers tried to keep the peace and calm the many desperate citizens who were trying to escape the Taliban.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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Some escaped

This image was provided by the Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces. It shows evacuees from Kabul sitting inside a military aircraft as they arrived at Tashkent Airport in Uzbekistan. This was one of three German military planes that evacuated some 131 people from Kabul airport to the Uzbek capital of Tashkent before reaching their final destination in Germany.

(Photo: Marc Tessensohn / Bundeswehr)

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Some were left behind

An Afghan child had hoped to be flown to safety but ended up walking along what seemed to be a deserted airfield. Military uniforms had been discarded and it seemed that many vulnerable people were left behind.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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Returning to the new regime

Those who didn't make the planes, returned to what would be a very different life for them. Taliban fighters searched people's bags as they came out of the Kabul airport.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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A city clean-up

Taliban members patrolled the streets of Kabul, cleaning up the debris from the days of violence after they took the city. Taliban members took specific measures, closing the presidential palace and requiring a quiet acceptance from the city's people.

(Photo: Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat / Anadolu Agency)

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Evacuated

Many foreign offices were evacuated, including embassies and their ambassadors. This photo shows the entrance gate of the Canadian embassy, pictured after the evacuation.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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A ghostly silence as many wait

A building caretaker sits inside a shopping centre that foreigners and tourists used to frequent on Chicken Street. It remained closed because every store on the street was waiting for the Taliban to approve their reopening.

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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A new world

Photos of the capital after the chaotic Taliban takeover. They show a deserted city: many evacuated, escaped or went in hiding.

(Photo: Hoshang Hashimi / AFP)

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Women's rights

Women feared to lose the most. In previous period in which the Taliban had run the country, they banned education for girls along with television, music and cinema for all. They also forced women to wear the Burka. In this image, women are holding placards and demanding the protection of Afghan women's rights in front of the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

(Photo: Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat / Anadolu Agency)

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Not a peaceful takeover

On Wednesday 4th August, an attack on Kabul caused the destruction shown here. The attack was supposedly targeting the country's acting defence minister.

(Photo: AP Photo / Rahmat Gul)

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Many wounded

Many Afghans wounded in the lead up to the loss of Kabul. There was especially heavy fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces in the Kandahar province south of Kabul.

(Photo: AFP / Wakil Kohsar)

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Awaiting smugglers

Those who didn't go to the airport, tried to find other means of escape. Some Afghan migrants relied on smugglers to help them cross the Iran-Turkish border. This raised alarm over an influx of migrants into Turkey through the Iranian border. Before the takeover, Turkey had already started building a 243-kilometre (150-mile) wall in a bid to prevent any passage of illegal migrants.

(Photo: Ozan Kose / AFP)

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A long walk for some

Many migrants walked. They tried to cross the Iran-Turkey border in Eastern Turkey.

(Photo: Ozan Kose / AFP)

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Two days between hope and despair

On the 18th August, two days after the initial chaos at Kabul airport, people still continued to wait for evacuation. More than 60 countries issued a joint statement, calling for the Taliban to allow anyone to leave.

(Photo: AFP)

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Standing in line for a chance at a visa

The Iranian embassy saw its doors close and security heightened as Afghan people lined up in great numbers outside the embassy to get a visa.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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Trying to leave

On the 22nd August, this photo was captured of Afghans waiting outside Pakistan Embassy to obtain visas in Kabul. There are still many trying to flee, despite the efforts from foreign forces in evacuating refugees.

(Photo: Haroon Sabawoon / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Waiting for the French

After the Germans, the French swooped in with military transport planes. Many people waited to board, including the French ambassador.

(Photo: STR / AFP)

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At the French embassy

People continued sitting near the French embassy in Kabul. Determination to flee the Taliban forced many to wait for days in order to obtain documents to escape the country.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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The violence the Afghans are used to

This was the scene in August 2019, after a deadly bomb blasted through the celebrations of a wedding in Kabul. More than 60 were killed and many wounded. It was the deadliest attack in Kabul in recent years, but an example of what the Afghan people fear for the future.

(Photo: Wakil Kohsar / AFP)

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Thousands had come to Kabul for help

Thousands of Afghans were displaced by the Taliban in the week leading up to the city takeover. They escaped violence in their towns and flooded the capital to look for safety and solace. But Kabul would soon be occupied by the Taliban as well.

(Photo: Paula Bronstein)

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Families fled with nothing

Thousands of families fled from the violence they were experiencing in their towns, as the Taliban gained ground and accelerated rapidly in the lead up to Kabul. They came to Kabul from the northern and north-eastern regions of the country. Now, they are struggling to survive in rough conditions on roadsides and in parks.

(Photo: Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat / Anadolu Agency)

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"What can I do? This is all I have"

Rajan, a farmer, had to flee with his family from Kunduz after their home was destroyed by incoming rocket fire. They came to rest at a makeshift camp in Shahr-e-Naw Park in Kabul. Their journey to Kabul took a perilous 6 days. They left with nothing. “What can I do?” Rajan said, pointing towards his children sleeping on the ground, “This is all I have.”

(Photo: Marcus Yam / LA Times)

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