Afghanistan's former president, who fled the day the Taliban entered Kabul, said he left because he thought it was the 'only way to keep the guns silent'

Ashraf Ghani. Reuters
Ashraf Ghani fled Afghanistan to the UAE on August 15, as the Taliban closed in upon Kabul.

He stated that he believed it was the only way to keep guns quiet and save Kabul in a Wednesday statement.

Since his escape, more than 170 Afghans were killed in terror attacks or stampedes.

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Ashraf Ghani (the Afghan president) said that he fled his country when the Taliban took the capital.

Ghani posted a statement to Twitter Wednesday saying that "Leaving Kabul was one of the hardest decisions in my life."

"I fled at the request of the palace security who advised me to leave as I risked starting the same street-tostreet fighting that the city suffered during the civil war in the 1990s."

Ghani fled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates just hours after the Taliban invaded Kabul on August 15. The Washington Post reported that Ghani fled to the United Arab Emirates in a hurry, not even notifying his aides, as he believed the Taliban would behead.

A large number of Afghans were killed in the days that followed Ghani's departure.

A 17-year-old Afghan soccer player was killed when he fell from the landing gear of a plane which had taken off from Kabul airport. In a desperate attempt to escape Taliban rule, he had been holding onto the plane.

Reuters reported that seven people were killed in large crowds near Kabul's airport on August 22. Many thousands of Afghans tried to board flights from the country.

A suicide bomber attack on Kabul's airport killed at least 169 Afghans as well as 13 US soldiers. The attack was claimed by ISIS-K, an affiliate of the Islamic State based in Afghanistan that hates the Taliban.

Since their rise to power, the Taliban used deadly force against many Afghans.

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Ghani made an apology and stated that he had wronged his people.

He said, "It is with deep and profound regret that the end of my chapter was in a similar tragedy as my predecessors - and without ensuring stability or prosperity." "I am sorry to the Afghan people that it did not end in a different way.

Ghani also reiterated that he denied having fled Afghanistan with $169 million in cash. This claim was made by the Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan last month. Ghani called this claim "baseless."

Mujib Mashal (South Asia correspondent of The New York Times) noted that Ghani’s statement to Afghans was only published in English and not Pashto or Farsi. These languages are mainly spoken in Afghanistan.

Mullah Mohammad Hashed Akhund, the Taliban's acting prime minister, stated Wednesday to Al Jazeera, that former officials should return home to Afghanistan, and that the Taliban would "guarantee their safety and security."

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