Afghanistan: Taliban close in on Kabul as last government stronghold in north falls – live updates

THE GUARDIAN — What are we expecting to happen in coming days?

The Taliban have said they will not stop fighting until the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, resigns. Ghani held urgent talks with local leaders and international partners on Saturday, but gave no sign of responding to the Taliban’s demand, saying “reintegration of the security and defense forces is our priority, and serious measures are being taken in this regard”.

Ghani’s resignation would help to avoid many, many deaths in a battle for Kabul, which is why he is facing international pressure to do so.

Activists have however warned of targeted killings in areas that fell under Taliban control in recent weeks.

There have also been restrictions brought in on women’s rights, which have raised fears the country is returning to the harsh restrictions of Taliban rule in the 1990s, even though the group’s envoys have promised they respect women’s rights under Islam. In Kandahar women were ordered from banking jobs at gunpoint, and told that male relatives could take their place, Reuters reported. And after Herat fell to the Taliban, rights activists said that women have been barred from the university, where they make up over half of students.