Pictures that shocked the world: fear and despair in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes over

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A Taliban fighter walks past a beauty salon with images of women that have been defaced in the Afghan capital, Kabul. As the ultra-conservative Islamic group regains power, there’s great concern for what life is going to be like for the country’s women. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
A Taliban fighter walks past a beauty salon with images of women that have been defaced in the Afghan capital, Kabul. As the ultra-conservative Islamic group regains power, there’s great concern for what life is going to be like for the country’s women. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Imagine being so desperate to flee your country that you’re willing to risk life and limb by clutching onto a taxiing plane. Or being so worried about your baby’s future that you’re willing to place her in the hands of an unknown soldier who promises to get her to safety – even though it means you’ll probably never see her again?

As America pushed ahead with its plan to end its 20-year occupation of Afghanistan, handing control of the country back to the ultra-conservative Taliban, experts have been warning that this abrupt exit will have dramatic consequences. And now the world is getting to see exactly what this means for ordinary people who have no way out.

Within weeks, hundreds of flights departed Kabul – but there wasn’t enough space for all those who wanted to leave and thousands were left behind to face an uncertain future.

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