The Taliban erupted with celebratory gunfire Monday night as the last U.S. military plane departed the Kabul airport, leaving Afghanistan in the militant group’s control. Video of the celebrations circulated on Twitter.
“Right now celebratory gunfire across Kabul from the Taliban. The last US soldiers have left the airfield. My heart is broken for the people of Afghanistan,” author Pen Farthing wrote on Twitter, sharing a video of the celebrations.
“Celebratory gunfire from #Taliban fighters shooting tracer rounds into #Kabul’s night sky after #US withdrawal,” tweeted Middle East correspondent for the Los Angeles Times Nabih Bulos. Bulos posted a video of Taliban fighters shooting into the pitch-black sky.
“The Taliban celebrates final US troop withdrawal at Kabul airport,” Breaking911 also wrote on Twitter.
“Afghanistan is finally free,” Hekmatullah Wasiq, a top Taliban official, told The Associated Press. “Everything is peaceful. Everything is safe.”
On Tuesday, the militant organization taunted the U.S., Great Britain, France and NATO with a fake funeral, including caskets covered in the nations’ flags.
“Of course, we will form the government but let us complete more important tasks such as staging a mock funeral of the US and the NATO first,” activist Sonam Mahajan wrote, tweeting an image of the mock funeral. “Taliban being Taliban.”
One Twitter user shared images of massive crowds of people out in Afghanistan to celebrate the United States’ withdrawal.
“Huge crowds out in Khost. #Afghanistan,” he wrote. “Mock funeral of US and NATO in Khost where thousands have gathered today to celebrate the completion of US withdrawal. #Afghanistan.”
From the airport, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid called the withdrawal “a historical day.”
“It is a historical day and a historical moment. We are proud of these moments, that we liberated our country from a great power,” Mujahid said, according to Reuters. “The Islamic Emirate wants to have good diplomatic relations with the whole world.”
Another Taliban fighter, Maulawi Hafiz Mohibullah Muktaz, told The Times that the group never believed “in our wildest dreams” that they “could beat a superpower like America.”
“When you do jihad all doors open. We defeated America with our faith and our guns and we hope now that Bagram can be a base for jihad for all Muslims,” he said. “For any foreign power considering attacking Afghanistan then look at Bagram now and learn your lesson well before embarking on foolish endeavor.”
“See the West’s mighty technology humbled here by mujahidin. In 15 years as a mujahid fighting the Americans I wondered often if I may fail or die,” he continued. “Yet here is proof of the power of faith and God and jihad. On the back of victory I hope we can use Bagram as a place to spread jihad further into the region and Muslim world.”