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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during an interview with Reuters at UN headquarters in New York City, New York, US, September 14, 2020. — Reuters pic
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during an interview with Reuters at UN headquarters in New York City, New York, US, September 14, 2020. — Reuters pic

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NEW YORK, Aug 16 — The UN called on the Taliban to exercise restraint Sunday, and particularly to protect the rights of women and girls, after the militants entered Kabul and cemented their grip on the country.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “urges the Taliban and all other parties to exercise utmost restraint in order to protect lives and ensure that humanitarian needs can be addressed,” said a UN statement.

He was “particularly concerned about the future of women and girls, whose hard-won rights must be protected,” the statement added.

The United Nations Security Council will hold a meeting on Monday on Afghanistan.

The meeting will be held at 10:00am (1400 GMT) in New York, according to the Security Council’s schedule.  

Guterres is to report on the situation in Afghanistan at the meeting, which has been requested by Estonia and Norway, the delegations of the two non-permanent members of the Security Council said. 

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani acknowledged Sunday that the Taliban had “won” hours after fleeing his country to, he said, “prevent a flood of bloodshed.” 

The Taliban have reconquered Afghanistan in a lightning surge 20 years after the US invasion and took control of Kabul on Sunday, more than two weeks before the August 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden to complete the withdrawal of American troops from the country. — AFP

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