The mood among the inner circle of Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan president, was concerned, but not panicked, high-level sources told the BBC. A plan to secure the capital had been drawn up, and was being discussed with General Haibatullah Alizai, the chief of the army staff, and Admiral Peter Vasely, the top US military officer in Afghanistan. Central to the plan were negotiations to halt the Taliban advance outside the city gates.
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