Taliban take districts in NE Afghanistan from fleeing troops – News Vibe24

    Taliban take districts in NE Afghanistan from fleeing troops - Times of India
    KABUL: The Taliban’s march into northern Afghanistan gained momentum overnight with the capture of several areas by Afghan forces fleeing, several hundred of whom fled across the border into Tajikistan, officials said on Sunday.
    More than 300 Afghan troops have crossed into Afghanistan from Badakhshan province as Taliban fighters cross the border, Tajikistan’s State National Security Committee said in a statement. Afghan troops crossed on Saturday around 6:30 p.m. local time
    “Guided by the principles of humanity and good neighborliness,” Tajik authorities have allowed retreating Afghan national defense and security forces to cross into Tajikistan, the statement said.
    Since mid-April, when US President Joe Biden announced the end of the “Afghanistan war forever”, the Taliban have been taking action across the country. But their biggest gains were in the northern half of the country, a traditional stronghold of U.S. warlords who helped them defeat them in 2001.
    The Taliban now control about a third of all 421 districts and centers in Afghanistan.
    Gains in the northeastern province of Badakhshan in recent days have been largely without a fighting guerrilla movement, said Mohib-ul Rahman, a member of the provincial council. He blamed the Taliban’s success on the poor morale of the troops, which are mostly overpaid and without recurrence.
    “Unfortunately, most of the areas were left to the Taliban without a fight,” Rahman said. In the past three days, 10 districts have fallen to the Taliban, eight without a fight, he said.
    Hundreds of Afghan troops, police and intelligence troops have surrendered from their military outposts and taken refuge in the Badakhshan province of Fizanbad, Rahman said.
    Even when a security meeting was held early Sunday to plan to strengthen the perimeter around the capital, some senior provincial officials were leaving Faihabad for the capital, Kabul, he said.
    In late June, the Afghan government resurrected militias with a reputation for violence to support the besieged Afghan forces, but Rahman said many of the militias in Badakhshan were only half-hearted.
    Areas under Taliban control in the north are increasingly strategic, stretching along Afghanistan’s border with Central Asian states. Last month, the religious movement took control of Imam Sahi, a town in Kunduz province across Uzbekistan, and took control of a major trade route.
    The raids in Badakhshan are particularly significant as they are the country of origin of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was killed by a suicide bomber in 2011. His son, Salahuddin Rabbani, is a member of the current High Council of National Reconciliation. The ousted former president also led Afghanistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami, the party of the notorious Taliban fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was killed by a suicide bomber two days before the September 11 attacks in the United States.
    The interior ministry issued a statement on Saturday saying the defeats were temporary, although it was unclear how they would regain control.
    Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the fall of the areas and said most were without a fight. The Taliban in previous traditions have shown videos of Afghan soldiers taking transport money and returning to their homes.


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