KABUL: Taliban fighters took management of one other metropolis in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, an official mentioned, the eighth provincial capital to fall to the insurgents in six days as US-led international forces full their withdrawal.
The Taliban seize of Faizabad — the capital of the northeastern province of Badakhshan — got here as President Ashraf Ghani landed in Mazar-i-Sharif to rally its defenders as Taliban forces closed in on the largest metropolis within the north.
After an extended battle in Faizabad, authorities forces retreated to a neighboring district, Jawad Mujadidi, a provincial council member from Badakhshan, instructed Reuters.
He mentioned Taliban fighters had taken a lot of the province and laid siege to Faizabad earlier than launching an offensive on Tuesday.
The far northeastern province of Badakhshan borders Tajikistan, Pakistan and China.
The lack of the town is the most recent setback for the beleaguered authorities, which has been struggling to stem the momentum of Taliban assaults in the previous couple of months.
The Taliban are battling to defeat the U.S-backed authorities and reimpose strict Islamic legislation. The pace of their advance has shocked the federal government and its allies.
Taliban forces now management 65 p.c of Afghanistan, have taken or threaten to take 11 provincial capitals and search to deprive Kabul of its conventional help from nationwide forces within the north, a senior European Union official mentioned on Tuesday.
US President Joe Biden urged Afghan leaders to struggle for his or her homeland, saying on Tuesday he didn’t remorse his resolution to withdraw, noting that the US had spent greater than $1 trillion over 20 years and misplaced 1000’s of troops.
The USA was offering important air help, meals, gear and salaries to Afghan forces, he mentioned.
The north was for years Afghanistan’s most peaceable area, with solely a minimal Taliban presence.
Throughout their 1996 to 2001 rule, the Taliban had been by no means fully accountable for the north however this time, they appear intent on securing it earlier than closing in on the capital.
Authorities officers have appealed for stress on Pakistan to cease Taliban reinforcements and provides flowing over the border. Pakistan denies backing the Taliban.
The federal government has withdrawn from hard-to-defend rural districts to give attention to holding inhabitants facilities. In some locations, authorities forces have given up with out a struggle.
Ghani is now interesting for assist from the outdated regional powerbrokers he spent years sidelining as he tried to undertaking the authority of his central authorities over historically wayward provinces.
He’ll meet key regional leaders in Mazar-i-Sharif.
“President Ghani is scheduled to fulfill native authorities and safety officers, political and militant leaders, tribal elders and influential individuals,” the presidential workplace mentioned on Twitter.
Within the south, authorities forces authorities forces are battling Taliban fighters making an attempt to succeed in Kandahar province’s primary jail to launch detained comrades, officers there mentioned.
Combating can also be going down in metropolis of Farah within the west, close to the Iranian border, Tolo Information reported.
In Geneva on Tuesday, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet mentioned stories of violations that might quantity to warfare crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity had been rising, together with “deeply disturbing stories” of the abstract execution of surrendering authorities troops.
Six EU member states warned the bloc’s government in opposition to halting deportations of rejected Afghan asylum seekers arriving in Europe, fearing a potential replay of a 2015-16 disaster over the arrival of greater than one million migrants, primarily from the Center East.
The USA will full the withdrawal of its forces this month in trade for Taliban guarantees to forestall Afghanistan getting used for worldwide terrorism. The Taliban promised to not assault international forces as they withdraw however didn’t comply with a cease-fire with the federal government.
Afghan chief flies into besieged northern metropolis as Taliban prolong gainsTaliban assault one other key metropolis in Afghanistan