Striking photos and video show Taliban fighters holding guns and reciting from the Quran inside Afghanistan’s presidential palace

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
  • The Taliban stormed Kabul on Sunday, setting itself up to retake Afghanistan after 20 years.
  • After the Afghan president fled the country, Taliban fighters took over the presidential palace.
  • Heavily armed fighters were seen inside the palace reciting from the Quran, Islam's holy book.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Video captured by Al Jazeera captured Taliban fighters holding guns and reciting from the Quran, the holy book of Islam, after seizing control of the presidential palace, according to reports.

The Taliban stormed Kabul earlier in the day on Sunday as the Afghan government collapsed, setting the militant group up to retake the country 20 years after US-led forces drove them from power.

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.

Photos shared by the Associated Press showed the fighters gathered around a desk at the abandoned palace hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani boarded a plane and fled the country.

Ragıp Soylu, the Turkey bureau chief for Middle East Eye, shared one of the clips from Al Jazeera that showed the fighters reciting the Quran from inside the palace.

A source in Kabul told The Daily Beast the Taliban was reciting Quran verses that in part translate to: "When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest. And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in crowds. Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance."

The Taliban announced Sunday they would be declaring the country the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, solidifying their takeover of the US-backed Afghan government.

The group has said they want a peaceful transfer of power, but the US embassy suspended its operations in Kabul and warned Americans of a quickly changing security situation.

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