After the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital Kabul on the 15th, our workload suddenly multiplied, and our hearts grew day by day.
The head of the main desk has repeatedly persuaded us to stay in the office. Because the office is staffed 24 hours a day by self-employed security personnel, there are also simplely furnished bedrooms for overnight rest and even family members if needed. The security situation is not very optimistic.
Think before thinking about the decision to go home at night, during the day or to the office to insist on work, after all, the home network signal sometimes even the message can not send out, let alone transmit pictures and videos.
Unexpected unspevited guests
When I first thought of it, I heard a few doorbells ringing, and the “New Year” in the yard followed suit, almost knocking over its favorite basins and basins.
“New Year” is once working here from the main station reporters from the street to pick up a stray dog, past reporters are also very fond of it, and therefore to it to develop a bad habit. With the exception of a few of our employees and security guards who have worked here for nearly a decade, it’s a few calls whenever we hear Afghans talk.
High-end community ≠ garden bungalows high walls, barbed wire is a necessity
The area in which our office is located is named Wazir Akbar Khan District, named after a prince who was once the Emir of the Emirate of Afghanistan in the 1840s ,but the emirate was not the same as the Islamic Emirate established by the Taliban more than a hundred years later.
It may be an upscale neighborhood in Kabul, home to many international agencies and foreign media. Our neighbours include former deputy defence ministers and former senior officials of the justice system, and although their homes are guarded by armed men, there is no guarantee of security. Left and right in the house now only the babysitter and the doorman are still there, listening to them say the master may have gone abroad.
Afghanistan’s upscale neighborhoods are not as chinese as the Chinese garden bungalows we see on tv, where high walls and barbed wire are essential. After many repairs, the walls of the courtyard alone are three metres seven eight, plus barbed wire may have to exceed five metres.
Is that completely down-to-earth? Ten days before the Taliban entered the city, a house not far from the office was hit by a car bomb, one of the homes of the defence minister, now known as a former minister. Several gunmen entered the minister’s neighbor’s house after the blast and exchanged fire with arriving security forces for five hours, killing eight civilians and wounding more than 20 others in the blast and gun battle.
Security forces were largely gone two or three days before the Taliban entered the city. There were many checkpoints guarded by the police in the community before, but on the 15th all the police suddenly evacuated, until now has not reappeared, leaving empty posts. We used to roll down our windows to greet the police, and sometimes we would give some money. This is a community convention, though not much money. After all, they are protecting us, after all, they are not high wages are very hard.
Walk to the door monitor and see a group of people outside, a total of five. The doorbell should be the front of the person, about forty years old, looking tall, wearing a typical Afghan hat and turban, with a big beard, eyes as if staring at the camera at the door. Three of the last four were armed, ranging from Russian AK-47s to American automatic rifles, because they had seen less before, and the specific model was not very specific.
It was almost certain that the Taliban militants, who had just entered the city, hesitated or asked the security guard to open the courtyard door. Usually there are strangers knocking on the door we have to ask the first time in the hospital, but now a little afraid to delay, do not know a long time not to open the door they will have any other action.
The tall man began to say hello when the door opened a third of the time, not sounding like a local Kabul accent. I hurried him to the yard to meet him and introduce the situation here. He told me that it was to ask about the owner and use of the house, and to look into it as he walked into the house. When I told him that this was the office of the China Central Radio and Television Station in Kabul, he repeated “China” and motioned me to walk upstairs together.
Upstairs are actually living areas, study and bathroom have nothing to see. The tall man who walked into the bedroom alone pointed to a deep hole in the wall and asked me what it was and why there was a line next to it. I replied as I did, a bullet hole. That was the mark left by stray bullets during a shootout in the community in November 2014, and bullet holes in another window have been repaired. I remember the time when i heard a female reporter on business and hid naked in the basement in her pajamas after hearing the gunshots.
The tall man came down from the upstairs and said nothing, leaving with four people who had not entered the courtyard door. He stayed in the house for a few minutes, the security guard did not close the door according to our rules, and after they left I alerted the security guard again.
When I sat down at my desk, I remembered that none of the five people who had come were wearing masks, nor was I. In fact, there are some inside the office, is a few months ago when the situation is relatively stable when the main station support sent, but if every day wear it will not last a few days. The foot of the “New Year” rarely near me lying for a while, just now when the tall man came in it did not know where to go, did not continue to call.