In pictures: Taliban seizes Kabul airport from US troops as 20-year Afghanistan war closes

Taliban troops guard Kabul airport on Monday after US troops leave. Credit: AP

The Taliban triumphantly marched into Kabul’s international airport on Tuesday, hours after the final US troops withdrew from Afghanistan, marking the end of America’s longest war.

Standing on the tarmac, heavily-armed Taliban soldiers were captured guarding the airport, firing celebratory gunshots and inspecting helicopters and machinery that the US left behind.

An American Marine takes care of a young girl awaiting processing at Kabul airport before the US withdrawal. Credit: US Marines
One of the last US military planes leaves Kabul airport. Credit: AP

The last US Air Force evacuation flight left Kabul airport on Monday. General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said the last planes took off at one minute before midnight in Kabul.

Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue boards a cargo plane at Kabul airport on Monday as the final American service member to depart Afghanistan. Credit: US Central Command

The US left behind 27 Humvees and 73 aircraft - all disabled so they could not be used by the Taliban. However, some working equipment was left behind for the Taliban to operate flights from the airport. This includes firetrucks, front-end loaders and aircraft staircases.

Taliban fighters stand guard in front of Kabul airport after the US troops leave. Credit: AP

Gunfire filled the night air as the Taliban celebrated the final US flight leaving.

“The last five aircraft have left, it's over!” said Hemad Sherzad, a Taliban fighter stationed at the airport. “I cannot express my happiness in words... our 20 years of sacrifice worked.”

Taliban soldiers and supporters celebrate on the streets in Kandahar

Toppled vehicles are seen inside the airport on Monday. Credit: AP

Vehicles carrying the Taliban raced back and forth along the airport's sole runway on the military side of the airfield. Before dawn broke, heavily armed Taliban fighters walked through hangars.

Taliban officials are interviewed by journalists inside the airport. Credit: AP