New Delhi: The Russian embassy in Kabul has claimed that Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country after the Taliban seized the capital Sunday, took four cars and a helicopter full of cash with him, according to Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.
“Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac,” Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesperson for the Russian embassy in Kabul, told RIA.
Ischenko’s comments were confirmed by Reuters and the spokesperson cited “witnesses” as the source of the information.
Ghani’s departure from the country has been met with great criticism from Afghan people and leaders.
Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the Afghan National Reconciliation Council, was quoted in a report by Al Jazeera as saying: “The former president of Afghanistan left Afghanistan, leaving the country in this difficult situation…God should hold him accountable.”
In a now-deleted tweet, the Afghanistan embassy in India had also berated Ghani. However, the embassy’s press secretary Abdulhaq Azad later confirmed that the embassy’s official Twitter handle was hacked.
Afghanistan acting Defense Minister General Bismillah Mohammadi, meanwhile, warned that the President will be judged by history.
In a social media post after his departure, Ghani claimed that he left the country to avoid bloodshed and a “big human disaster” in Kabul.
Panic descends in Kabul after Taliban take over
In the past week, the Taliban took over major cities and provinces of Afghanistan, which led to the unprecedented collapse of the Afghan government led by Ghani.
The US announced Monday that it was working to expand its security presence at the Kabul airport for the safe evacuation of US allied personnel as well as Afghan civilians.
However, videos have emerged of people desperately rushing to the airport, waiting on the tarmac and some clinging onto the wheels of American planes leaving Kabul.
As the Americans leave Kabul: pic.twitter.com/VLYoOrPGZL
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) August 16, 2021
According to the latest developments, an Afghan military aircraft was also shot down by Uzbekistan Sunday because it had violated their airspace. Uzbek border guards reportedly captured two injured Afghan pilots who were seeking asylum.
#BREAKING: Afghan Military aircraft was shot down by Uzbekistan Air Defence Missile yesterday in the Sherabad district of the Surkhandarya region of Uzbekistan as it violated airspace. Pilots wanted to take political asylum. Uzbek border guards captured two injured Afghan pilots. pic.twitter.com/qPzVtE8EJy
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 16, 2021
(Edited by Rachel John)