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Wednesday 31 May 2023 Dublin: 12°C
# Ashraf Ghani
Afghan president says he fled Kabul to prevent bloodshed
Ashraf Ghani, who is in the UAE, has denied stealing state funds.

AFGHAN PRESIDENT ASHRAF Ghani has defended his decision to flee Kabul in the face of the Taliban advance, describing it as the only way to prevent bloodshed.

He also denied claims by his country’s ambassador to Tajikistan that he had stolen $169 million dollars (€145 million) from state funds.

Ghani posted a video on his Facebook page late yesterday, confirming that he was in the United Arab Emirates.

He thanked Afghan security forces in his message but also said the “failure of the peace process” led to the Taliban snatching power.

He claimed that he was “forced to leave Afghanistan with one set of traditional clothes, a vest and the sandals I was wearing”.

“Accusations were charged in these days that money was transferred, these accusations are fully baseless,” he said.

Ghani left Afghanistan on Sunday as the Taliban approached Kabul.

Taliban fighters manned checkpoints around Kabul’s airport today as concerns built they were blocking Afghans from reaching evacuation flights, with the United States demanding safe passage.

Tens of thousands of people have tried to flee Afghanistan since the hardline Islamist militants swept into the capital on Sunday, completing a stunning rout of government forces and ending two decades of war.

Taliban leaders have in recent days repeatedly vowed not to seek revenge against their opponents, while seeking to project an image of tolerance.

They have also sort to portray growing political authority, with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar returning from exile and other senior figures meeting ex-president Hamid Karzai.

But the United States said yesterday the Taliban were reneging on pledges to allow Afghans who worked with the United States and its allies out of the country.

“We have seen reports that the Taliban, contrary to their public statements and their commitments to our government, are blocking Afghans who wish to leave the country from reaching the airport,” Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told reporters.

“We expect them to allow all American citizens, all third-country nationals and all Afghans who wish to leave to do so safely and without harassment.”

Additional reporting from AFP

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