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Attacks on civilians is a war crime, UN chief warns Taliban

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned the Taliban that "directing attacks against civilians is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime."

Condemning the human rights violations by the Taliban, he said, "It is particularly horrifying and heartbreaking to see reports of the hard won rights of Afghan girls and women being ripped away," The UN chief said on Friday.

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"I'm… deeply disturbed by early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions on human rights in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women and journalists," Guterres told journalists.

The Taliban are now closing in on Kabul and western countries are preparing to evacuate their embassy staff from the Afghan capital. Both the US and UK have special troops to provide security to their diplomatic staff and help in the evacuation.

The Afghanistan army has given up without putting up a fight in most places handing over their weapons and equipment to the insurgents which has accelerated their advance.