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I left to avoid bloodshed: Exiled Afghan President

ashraf ghani
Mr Ghani, seen here in a televised address to Afghans last week, is now in hiding in the UAE. Photo: Getty
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Exiled Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says he left Kabul to prevent bloodshed, and denies taking large sums of money with him as he departed the presidential palace.

Mr Ghani live-streamed his comments over Facebook from an unknown location within the United Arab Emirates, where he and his family fled as the Taliban staged their stunning takeover of the Afghan capital.

Mr Ghani has been bitterly criticised by former ministers for leaving the country suddenly as Taliban forces entered Kabul on Sunday.

“If I had stayed, I would be witnessing bloodshed in Kabul,” Ghani said in the video.

He left on the advice of government officials, he added.

Earlier on Wednesday (local time), the United Arab Emirates confirmed it had accepted Mr Ghani and his family for “humanitarian considerations.”

The statement carried by the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency did not say where Mr Ghani was in the country.

Earlier in the week, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul claimed Mr Ghani had fled the city with four cars and a helicopter stuffed full of cash.

Mr Ghani denied that.

“I was forced to leave Afghanistan with one set of traditional clothes, a vest and the sandals I was wearing,” he said.

-with AAP