The Latest: Official says Taliban to declare Islamic Emirate

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A U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, assigned to 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, during a mission in eastern Afghanistan Oct. 23, 2016. (Photo by Capt. Grace Geiger)

The Latest developments on Afghanistan, where a Taliban blitz has taken large swaths of territory just weeks before the final pullout of American and NATO troops:

A Taliban official says the group will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace in the capital, Kabul. 

That was the name of the country under the Taliban government ousted by U.S.-led forces after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media.

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KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has suspended all operations and told Americans to shelter in place, saying it has received reports of gunfire at the international airport.

The U.S. is racing to airlift diplomats and citizens out of Afghanistan after the Taliban overran most of the country and entered the capital early Sunday.

“The security situation in Kabul is changing quickly and the situation at the airport is deteriorating rapidly,” the embassy said in a statement.

“There are reports of the airport taking fire and we are instructing U.S. citizens to shelter in place. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has suspended consular operations effective immediately. Do not come to the Embassy or airport at this time.”

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