The Taliban has declared the war in Afghanistan is over after its fighters cleared the capital, Kabul, and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Panic and fear gripped Kabul on Monday as heavily armed Taliban fighters took control of the abandoned presidential palace and Western nations scrambled to evacuate their citizens. Hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave the country also flooded the Kabul airport.

There are 44,000 people who are outside of Kabul and in other cities. The reports from them are horrific. There are public executions in Kandahar City stadium. Women have been told they cannot leave their homes in Herat and the Taliban are going door to door in Mazar-i-Sharif looking for anyone who worked with the US military. This is a report we are hearing in other cities, including in Kabul.

Scott Morrison, the prime minister of Australia, said he’s “devastated” about developments in Afghanistan and said the cabinet’s national security committee will meet on Monday to review Australian operations out of Kabul. Morrison said his government has already resettled 430 Afghans and their families who worked for Australia, and was planning to airlift those remaining there. He described the situation in Afghanistan, particularly for women and girls, as “terrible”.

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