KABUL:The Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan's presidential palace, two senior Taliban commanders present in Kabul said that hours after the insurgents entered the Afghan capital both President Ashraf Ghani and his deputy, Vice-President Amarullah Saleh, left Afghanistan.
The US Embassy said the capital's airport, where diplomats, officials, and other Afghans had fled, had come under fire.
"The security situation in Kabul is changing quickly including at the airport. There are reports of the airport taking fire; therefore we are instructing US citizens to shelter in place," a US Embassy security alert said.
Hundreds of Afghans, some of them government ministers and government employees and also other civilians including many women and children, crowded in the terminal desperately waiting for flights out.
American diplomats were evacuated from their embassy by helicopter to the airport as local Afghan forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others for billions of dollars, melted away.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced a three-member coordination committee to discuss the transfer of power with the Taliban after Ghani fled the country.
The committee proposed by Karzai includes himself, Abdullah Abdullah and Gulbudin Hekmatyar.
Taliban’s co-founder Mullah Baradar was tipped to be the Afghan President as Kabul went through a bloodless takeover shortly after Ghani and boarded a plane.
"Taliban fighters are to be on standby on all entrances of Kabul until a peaceful and satisfactory transfer of power is agreed," said spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
The Taliban's swift advances come as countries across the world emptied their embassies and hurried to fly out diplomats, sensitive papers, and equipment.