Taliban declare 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan'

The Taliban officially declared the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” on Thursday, cementing its rule in the country days after capturing the capital city of Kabul and toppling the existing Afghan government.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Taliban, declared the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in a tweet with a photo of the country’s logo.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was the name of the country that was under the rule of the Taliban between 1996 and 2001, before the insurgent group was driven out by U.S.-led forces after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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At the time, only a handful of nations recognized the government, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkmenistan, according to a report from Insider.

Mujahid, in a separate tweet, said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants better diplomatic and trade relations with all countries.

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The renewal of the country's name comes after the Taliban officially overran the Afghan government this weekend, capturing Kabul after making decisive advances in a number of key provincial capitals over the past week. 

The insurgent group ramped up its military offensive as the U.S. neared completion of its troop withdrawal mission, which President BidenJoe BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system MORE had said was set to conclude by the end of the month.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani quietly fled the nation on Sunday as the Taliban was just entering Kabul, leaving the country without a leader as the insurgent group reached the apex of its mission.

Ghani, who fled to the United Arab Emirates, said he left to avoid clashes with the Taliban and prevent future bloodshed.

Afghans are now scrambling to leave the country out of fear of what a Taliban-led government may look like. The group said it plans to govern peacefully, but many are skeptical of how it will treat women and others in society. 

The U.S. military is now working to evacuate American citizens and Afghans who aided U.S. forces.

A White House official reported on Thursday that the U.S. has evacuated 7,000 people from Afghanistan since Aug. 14.