KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban warring parties seized most of the capital of northern Afghanistan’s key Kunduz province on Sunday, and took yet any other neighboring provincial capital after a monthlong siege. The advances were the most contemporary in a series of blows to executive forces as U.S. troops full their pullout after virtually two a long time in the country.
The militiamen planted their flag in the valuable square of Kunduz city, where it used to be viewed flying atop a traffic police gross sales set up, a video got by the Associated Press showed.
It used to be the fourth provincial capital to largely succumb to Taliban warring parties in no longer up to every week, as they ramp up a push across Afghan’s regions, and wage an assassination advertising and marketing campaign in the capital, Kabul.
Two provincial council people talked about the Taliban took protect watch over of the governor’s office and police headquarters after a day of firefights, besides as the valuable penal complex building, where 500 inmates in conjunction with Taliban warring parties were freed.
Kunduz’s favor would be a indispensable carry out for the Taliban and a check of their capacity to favor and withhold territory in their advertising and marketing campaign towards the Western-backed executive.
It’s a ways one of the country’s bigger cities with a population of bigger than 340,000, and used to be a key set up defended towards Taliban takeover by Western troops over the years.
Councilman Ghulam Rabani Rabani talked about that stopping used to be continuing on the city’s airport and other aspects of the city quiet in executive hands. Kunduz is a strategic crossroads with honest correct access to powerful of northern Afghanistan besides as Kabul, about 200 miles (335 kilometers) away.
One other provincial council member from Kunduz, Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, also talked about Afghan forces simplest protect watch over the airport and predominant navy barracks, and that the Taliban protect watch over the leisure of the city.
“The innocent and downhearted must pay the payment of the war in Kunduz and other aspects of the country, both executive forces and the Taliban are the enemy of civilians,” talked about Ayubi. “One can’t provide security and the different doesn’t care about folks’s security,” he added.
The Afghan executive in Kabul denies it has misplaced the northern city, which often is the fourth provincial capital to be largely overrun by Taliban warring parties in the closing week. Interior Ministry Spokesman Mirwais Stanekzai talked about that Afghan security forces proceed to fight and delight in already retaken some areas from the Taliban, with out elaborating.
The Taliban has prolonged thought of the city a sought-after prize. It seized Kunduz, on the coronary heart of a indispensable agricultural diagram advance Tajikistan, for round two weeks in 2015 sooner than withdrawing in the face of a NATO-backed Afghan offensive. The insurgents pushed back into the city center a year later, fleet elevating their flag sooner than step by step being pushed out again.
In Washington, senior officials from the White Home National Security Council, Screech Department and Defense Department were in stop contact with U.S. embassy officials in Kabul assessing the broader impact of the fall of Kunduz, basically basically based utterly on a senior administration official. The official used to be no longer authorized to observation and spoke on the placement of anonymity.
However the official indicated that the Biden administration stays decided to stick with its thought to pause the U.S. war in Afghanistan by the pinnacle of the month despite the Taliban’s immediate strategic beneficial properties.
White Home officials in most up-to-date days delight in raised arena about reviews of retaliation towards civilians in Taliban-controlled areas. They’ve also condemned closing week’s killing of Dawa Khan Menapal, the manager of the Afghan executive’s press operations for native and foreign media, and a bombing that targeted acting Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, killing eight and wounding more.
White Home press secretary Jen Psaki talked about on Friday that most up-to-date surge in assaults urge counter to the “the Taliban voice to favor global legitimacy” and offered that the militants “create no longer must quit on this trajectory.”
Moreover Sunday, the Taliban forces overran Taleqan, the capital of Takhar province which lies next to Kunduz, two Afghan lawmakers talked about. Takhar, a city of some 200,000, has whisper significance for the anti-Taliban northern alliance warring parties who joined the U.S.-led coalition to oust the spiritual militia in 2001.
Sayed Sharafuddin Aini, a member of the Afghan parliament from from Takhar province, talked about the Taliban managed to favor the city in the afternoon after three months of advances in some unspecified time in the future of which it took protect watch over of all of the province’s nation-verbalize.
One other MP from the set up, Nazifa Yousefi Beg, talked about that each one provincial officials in conjunction with the governor, police chief, and council people were on the urge . She talked about she terrified about their security and wished the manager to send reinforcements to the city.
Both lawmakers spoke by phone in Kabul, where they stay. They talked about they’d been in contact with officials and provincial council people in the morning and early afternoon, and Beg used to be appealing straight to the acting protection minister at his office.
Taleqan had been below siege in most up-to-date weeks and largely decrease off from the leisure of the country by Taliban forces that had taken protect watch over of the surrounding nation-verbalize over the final three months.
The insurgents delight in been on a rustic-wide offensive that intensified as U.S. and NATO troops started to wrap up their withdrawal from the country this summer time. With Taliban assaults growing, Afghan security forces and executive troops delight in retaliated with airstrikes aided by the US. The stopping has raised rising concerns about civilian casualties.
On Saturday, Taliban warring parties entered the capital of the northern Jawzjan province after sweeping by contrivance of 9 of 10 districts in the province. A number of other of the country’s 34 provincial capitals are threatened as Taliban warring parties sweep by contrivance of astronomical swaths of Afghanistan at a improbable velocity.
Earlier closing week their warring parties captured the ninth of 10 police districts of Lashkar Gah, the capital of southern Helmand province. Heavy stopping there continues, as create U.S. and Afghan executive airstrikes, one of which broken a health sanatorium and excessive college.
The Defense Ministry confirmed airstrikes happened nonetheless talked about they targeted Taliban positions, killing 54 warring parties and wounding 23 others. It made no point out of a sanatorium or college being bombed in its observation. Deputy provincial council chairman Majid Akhund talked about the products and companies had been below Taliban protect watch over when they were struck.
As they rolled by contrivance of provincial capitals, the Taliban issued an English language observation on Sunday announcing that residents, executive staff, and security officials had nothing to fear from them.
“No historical civil servant and other executive employee in conjunction with folks who labored in the safety sector … must delight in any fear of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate, nor hover in the direction of other locations,” talked about the observation.
Revenge assaults and repressive treatment of females delight in been reported on the opposite hand in areas now below Taliban protect watch over.
Rohan contributed from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Kathy Gannon contributed from Islamabad, Pakistan, and Aamer Madhani from Wilmington, Delaware.