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Exiled Ghani says he left Kabul to prevent bloodshed, did not take money

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Aug 18 (Reuters) - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, speaking from exile in the United Arab Emirates, said on Wednesday that he had left Kabul to prevent bloodshed and denied reports he took large sums of money with him as he departed the presidential palace.

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

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani makes an address about the latest developments in the country from exile in United Arab Emirates, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video on August 18, 2021. Facebook/Ashraf Ghani/via REUTERS

"If I had stayed, I would be witnessing bloodshed in Kabul," Ghani said in a video streamed on Facebook, his first public comments since it was confirmed he was in the UAE.

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

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Writing by James Mackenzie Editing by Chris Reese

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