Afghan presidential palace denies Taliban attack on Kabul, Taliban fighters told to "stand at gates"

Afghan president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani speaks in a televised address in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, Aug. 14, 2021.

KABUL-- The media office of the Afghanistan's Presidential Palace on Sunday denied Taliban's attack on Kabul, saying only sporadic gun firing occurred in parts of Kabul.

No attack has taken place in Kabul, the country's security and defense forces and international partners are providing security for Kabul city, the office said on its social media account twitter.

"The situation is under control," it said.

The Taliban issued a statement on Sunday, saying they don't plan to take Kabul "by force".

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said that the outfit has ordered its insurgents to stay outside the capital and do not try to enter Kabul city.

"The Islamic Emirate instructs all its forces to stand at the gates of Kabul, not to try to enter the city," he tweeted.

Earlier on Sunday, several private offices and buildings were evacuated, and shops were shut down after rumors and unconfirmed reports on social media that the Taliban had entered central Kabul, causing panic among the terrified.

Reports said that Taliban fighters had occupied the outskirts of Kabul, and sporadic gun firing can be heard in parts of the city as of midday on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, the Taliban took control of Maidan Shar city, 35 km in the west of Kabul. 

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