Afghanistan || Taliban have Recaptured Large Parts Of The Country

In their rapid advance into Afghanistan, the Taliban have seized control of two provincial capitals in the past 24 hours , the first to fall since the start of the final phase of the withdrawal of foreign troops in May.

The Taliban captured this Saturday after days of heavy fighting Sheberghan, capital of the northwestern province of Jawzjan, bordering Turkmenistan, after yesterday, with little resistance, they seized control of Zaranj, capital of southwestern Nimroz, which borders Iran.

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“Sheberghan, the provincial capital, has fallen. The capital is now in the hands of the insurgents,” Karim Jawzjani, a deputy for Jawzjan province in the lower house of the national Parliament, told EFE.

According to the parliamentarian, “only the Army Regiment is under the control of the security forces and the rest of the city is in the hands of the insurgents”, who took control this morning after several days of intense fighting.

A member of the Jawzjan Provincial Council, Bismillah Sahel, also confirmed to Efe that “the city of Sheberghan fell into the hands of the insurgents for now, almost all the city is in the hands of the Taliban, “ he stressed. The local politician assured that the Taliban “ roam freely in the center of the city, “ a city otherwise desolate due to heavy fighting.

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In addition, the provincial prison was also taken by the Taliban, who released hundreds of inmates, including insurgent inmates. The Taliban posted videos on their social networks in which their fighters welcomed their freed comrades, who were smiling with their belongings in a bag, while some shots were heard in the background.

“The strategic capital of Jawzjan, Sheberghan, has been liberated by the Mujahideen,” top Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid celebrated on Twitter. The Taliban also claimed control of the city of Zaranj early on Friday afternoon. “ Nimroz has become the first province completely liberated at the hands of the Mujahidin,” Mujahid said at the time.

The Afghan government has not yet confirmed the fall of either of the two provincial capitals, but as happened with Sheberghan, the deputy for Nimroz Ahmad Noorzad revealed to the local Ariana News that the insurgents had taken control of Zaranj.

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One of the main Afghan media outlets, Tolo News, also reported, although without revealing its sources, the fall into the hands of the Zaranj Taliban, which was accompanied by the flight of “hundreds of residents of the city , who came in mass to the border with Iran in a desperate search for safety. “ After the fall of Sheberghan and Zaranj, the Taliban called on civilians to stay in their homes and not leave the cities, ensuring that there would be no reprisals against them.

“No former official or other government employee, including those who worked in the security sector, should be afraid of the Mujahideen or flee elsewhere, “ the Taliban stressed in a statement. All have been “forgiven,” they remarked.

However, organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) have denounced that this is nothing more than a ploy to easily identify former members of the security forces or other officials and, after arresting them, carry out summary executions of some of them. they.

These two provincial capitals are the first to fall into the hands of the Taliban since the beginning of their great offensive, which coincided with the start on May 1 of the final phase of the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, which is expected to conclude. this month. Since then, the insurgents have managed to capture some 125 district centers, the first time in two decades of war that they have gained control of so many areas in such a short time.

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The Afghan Army, with the occasional support of US aviation, is intensifying its fighting to regain lost territory, with clashes in at least 15 of the 34 Afghan provinces, which have left at least 385 insurgents dead and 210 wounded in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Some of the heaviest fighting is taking place in Lashkargah, capital of the southern province of Helmand, where security forces launched a major counteroffensive this week after days of siege by insurgents.

The spokesman for the Afghan Army Corps in the region, Qader Bahadarzoy, assured Efe that in the last 24 hours they have made “progress and clear some parts of the city. “ In addition “the enemy forces have suffered great losses”, sentenced.

Since the NATO troops withdrew from Afghanistan , the Taliban have recaptured large parts of the country. Several attacks have been carried out in Kabul, including the killing of the chief spokesman for the Afghan government . The peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Qatar’s capital Doha have so far not produced any great results. The US military mission in Afghanistan ends on August 31, the withdrawal is according to US data to more than 95 percent complete.

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