Taliban News: Taliban press on, take 2 more Afghan provincial capitals | World News – News Vibe24

    Taliban News: Taliban press on, take 2 more Afghan provincial capitals | World News - Times of India
    KABUL: The Taliban took control of two more provincial capitals in Afghanistan on Monday, officials said. Their downfall marked the latest development in a persistent, relentless Taliban offensive as US and NATO forces finalize their withdrawal from the war-torn country.
    The militants have stepped up their efforts in much of Afghanistan, turning their weapons on provincial capitals after occupying large tracts of land in the predominantly rural countryside. At the same time, they are carrying out a assassination campaign targeting senior government officials in the capital, Kabul.
    The scan comes amid condemnation from the international community and warnings from the United Nations that a military victory and occupation by the Taliban will not be recognized. The Taliban have also ignored calls to return to the negotiating table and resume long-term peace talks with the Afghan government.
    Two lawmakers from the northern province of Samangan, Hayatullah Samangani and Mahboba Rahmat, said the provincial capital of Aybak fell to the Taliban on Monday afternoon without resistance. They said government officials had fled to another area.
    Provincial council member Mohammad Hashim Sarwari said Taliban fighters had occupied three areas of the province before occupying the capital.
    Another provincial lawmaker, who is of course in Samangan, Ziauddin Zia, said some government facilities were still under government control as security forces resisted Taliban fighters.
    According to Mohammad Nur Rahmani, head of the northern Sar-e-Pul provincial council, the Taliban captured the provincial capital after a week of resistance by Afghan security forces, after which the city of Sar-e-Pul collapsed. Government forces have completely withdrawn from the province, he said.
    Several pro-government local militia commanders also surrendered to the Taliban without a fight, allowing insurgents to gain control of the entire province, Rahmani added.
    The cities of Aybak and Sar-e Pul are joined by three other provincial capitals now under Taliban control: Zaranj, the capital of the western province of Nimroz, Sheberghan, the capital of the northern province of Zawzjan, and Taleqan, the capital of another northern province of the same name. .
    The Taliban are also fighting for control of the city of Kunduz, the capital of the northern province of Kunduz. On Sunday, they planted their flag in the city’s main square, where it was seen waving over a traffic booth, a video obtained by the Associated Press showed.
    The capture of Kunduz would be a major gain for the Taliban and a test of their ability to take and maintain ground in their campaign against the Western-backed government. It is one of the largest cities in the country with a population of over 340,000 and was a key area defended against the Taliban occupation by Western troops all these years.
    After billions of dollars have been spent on aid, training and reinforcement for Afghan forces, many disagree on how to explain the astonishing Taliban blitz that has threatened, and so far taken, several of the country’s 34 provincial capitals.
    Rahmani, head of the council in Shar-Poole, said the provincial capital had been under siege by militants for weeks without sending reinforcements to the over-stretched Afghan forces. A video released on social media on Monday shows a number of Taliban fighters standing in front of the office of Governor Sar-e Poole and congratulating each other on their victory.
    The Taliban offensive across the country intensified as US and NATO troops began completing their withdrawal from Afghanistan this summer. As Taliban attacks escalated, Afghan security forces and government troops retaliated with airstrikes with the help of the United States. The fighting has also raised concerns about civilian casualties.
    On Monday, Unicef ​​said it was shocked by the growing number of child victims amid escalating violence in Afghanistan. In the past three days, at least 27 children have been killed in various provinces, including 20 in Kandahar, he said.
    “These atrocities are also evidence of the brutal nature and scale of violence in Afghanistan that is already hunting down vulnerable children,” the agency said. He did not specify who was responsible for the killings. Unicef ​​also sounded the alarm about what it said was the increased recruitment of children by armed groups.
    The Taliban also seized most of Laskar Gah, the capital of South Helmand province, where they seized nine of the city’s 10 police districts last week. Fierce fighting continues there, as have US and Afghan government airstrikes, one of which has damaged a medical clinic and a gymnasium.
    The Pentagon confirmed the airstrikes, but said they were targeting Taliban positions, killing 54 fighters and wounding 23. His statement did not mention a clinic or school bombing. Provincial Council Deputy Chairman Majid Ahud said the facility was under Taliban control when it was hit.
    On Saturday, Taliban fighters entered the capital of the northern province of Jawzjan after sweeping nine of the province’s 10 districts. The city of Kandahar, the provincial capital of Kandahar, also remains under siege.
    As they roamed the provincial capitals, the Taliban issued a statement in English on Sunday saying residents, government officials and security officials had nothing to fear.
    However, reports of revenge and repression of women have been reported in areas now under Taliban control.

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