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15 Surreal, Heartbreaking, And Haunting Photos Of The Fall Of Afghanistan That Will Be Shown In History Classes One Day

The world's eyes are on Afghanistan. Here's what they're seeing.

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With the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and war on terror drawing near, US President Joe Biden stayed in line with his goal of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. However, this departure, coupled with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's move to flee the country, was followed by the Taliban's entry into Kabul, the nation's capital.

Participants in the rally Humanitarian Airlift Now - Don't Abandon Afghanistan's People stand with placards on the Old Market Square
Picture Alliance / dpa Picture Alliance / Getty Images

Members of the Taliban were photographed inside the presidential palace and, though they say they entered Kabul to provide security, the group is known for its brutality, including the use of executions; the removal of women and girls from public spaces and school; and bans on media via telephones, videos, and music.

Taliban fighters have entered Afghanistan’s presidential palace hours after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country — in pictures https://t.co/fqqlySOdKy

Twitter: @AJEnglish / Via Twitter: @AJEnglish

1. In an attempt to escape after the country fell to the Taliban, Afghans flooded the Kabul International Airport's tarmac.

"People run on tarmac of Kabul international airport as a US military aircraft attempts to take off"
Twitter: @TOLONews / @Mukhtarwafayee / Via Twitter: @TOLOnews / Twitter: @Mukhtarwafayee

2. Crowds of people filled the passenger boarding bridges, climbing atop planes as they sought escape.

Afghan people climb atop a plane as they wait at the Kabul airport in an attempt to flee the Taliban's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule
Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images

3. Some even hung onto the sides of US military aircrafts as they attempted to take off.

People hang onto US military aircraft as it attempts to take off
Twitter: @TOLONews / @Mukhtarwafayee / Via Twitter: @TOLOnews / Twitter: @Mukhtarwafayee

4. At least one man who'd clung to a plane fell to his death as the aircraft departed.

Twitter: @AsvakaNews / Via Twitter: @AsvakaNews

5. In one plane, the US Air Force was able to transport about 640 Afghan citizens from the Hamid Karzai International Airport, but many other Afghan allies who'd aided the US military were left behind.

US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transports approximately 640 Afghan citizens from Hamid Karzai International Airport
Capt. Chris Herbert / US Air Force via AP / Defense One / Via dvidshub.net

6. US soldiers continue to stand guard inside the Kabul International Airport as many more attempt to flee.

US soldiers stand guard inside the Kabul international airport, where thousands of Afghans have rushed in an attempt to flee the country
Shekib Rahmani / AP

7. Elsewhere in the city, a beauty salon worker was seen painting over photos of women outside of their establishment.

A worker at a beauty salon paints over a large photo of a woman on the wall in Kabul following news that the Taliban swept into the Afghan capital
Kyodo / AP

Under previous Taliban rule, women were punished if they did not cover their faces, and they had to be accompanied by male relatives when leaving home.

Kyodo / AP

8. It can be assumed that by painting over and tearing down advertisements featuring women, Afghan business owners are hoping to avoid conflict with the Taliban.

Workers at a beauty salon strip large photos of women off the wall in Kabul
Kyodo / AP

9. Stateside, Joe Biden, who was at Camp David over the weekend, met virtually with his national security team and senior officials for a briefing on Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden sitting alone at a table at Camp David as he virtually met with his national security team and senior officials for a briefing on Afghanistan
The White House / AP

The president previously said he "trust[ed] the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more ... competent in terms of conducting war."

10. By Sunday night, the Taliban had installed itself in the presidential palace from which president Ghani had fled hours earlier.

Zabi Karimi / AP

11. The Washington Post reported that the collapse of the Afghan military began with illicit deals between the Taliban and government officials and accelerated due to mass desertions. Here, Taliban fighters stand beside the belongings of Afghan security soldiers in Kabul.

Taliban fighters stand beside the belongings of Afghan security soldiers in Kabul
Xinhua News Agency / Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

12. Members of the group are patrolling the streets and urging government staff to return to work as they move to restart city life.

Taliban members patrol the streets in a truck
Wakil Kohsar / AFP via Getty Images

13. All across the world, the fall of Afghanistan is leading headlines.

Pakistan's newspapers are pictured displaying front page news about Afghanistan, at a stall in Islamabad
Aamir Qureshi / AFP via Getty Images

14. Afghan children are demonstrating near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point, waving their nation's flag and holding signs that read, "We say no to Taliban," as they are ushered back into their country.

Afghan children are demonstrating near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point, waving their nation's flag and holding signs that read, "We say no to Taliban"
Manolis Lagoutaris / AFP via Getty Images

15. And finally, around the world, there's anger, shock, and protests.

Man holds sign reading, "Stop killing Afghans," in front of the German parliament building
John Macdougall / AFP via Getty Images

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