The Taliban has now pushed into nine provincial capitals. On Tuesday alone, three towns were overrun by the group….reports Asian Lite News
An entire corps of the Afghanistan army surrendered to Taliban on Wednesday as the insurgents consolidated their hold on the country’s northern region, overrunning three towns in a single day.
After holding out for days at a military base on the edge of Kunduz, hundreds of Afghan forces surrendered to the Taliban, handing over valuable equipment, according to two Afghan officers who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the news media, reported The Washington Post.
The Taliban has now pushed into nine provincial capitals. On Tuesday alone, three towns were overrun by the group.
Taliban on Tuesday night also captured the ninth provincial capital in Afghanistan i.e; Fayzabad city, which is the centre of northern Badakhshan province next to the Tajikistan border.
The terrorist group shared images of insurgents patrolling the streets and hoisting the white Taliban flag in the main square of the fallen city, Anadolu Agency reported.
“The province of Badakhshan with all its belongings has been ‘conquered, ” Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahed said in a tweet.
With US and NATO forces announcing withdrawal from the country, the Taliban began an assault on major cities and seized control of cities of Sar-e-Pol, Sheberghan, Aybak, Kunduz, Taluqan, Pul-e-Khumri, Farah, Zaranj and Faizabad.
The surrender of the Afghan corps ceded the last island of government control in the provincial capital to the Taliban.
The Taliban has gained territories at a speed which has surprised many, the made sweeping gains in the northern and western Afghanistan.
Taliban fighters have made rapid gains across the country since the final phase of the US withdrawal began in May. Over the past week, the terrorists have started pushing into urban areas.
Government control has shrunk dramatically, to less than a third of the country’s territory. The United States is continuing to support Afghan forces with airstrikes, but the withdrawal of foreign troops is set to conclude at the end of August, reported Washington Post.
In Kunduz, local elders had visited Afghan military commanders at the base near the city’s airport and asked them to surrender to the Taliban, which pledged not to harm them, said Zargul Alemi, a member of the Kunduz provincial council who fled the province before the surrender, reported Washington Post.
Alemi said that after some commanders accepted the surrender deal, along with a fraction of soldiers at the base, the rest of the forces retreated to a nearby mountain range.
“I don’t know why the commanders did not gather their forces and fight until the last drop of their blood, with all the guns, resources and ammunition they had in the airport and the corps,” Alemi said. The soldiers who surrendered handed over Humvees, weapons and other supplies to the Taliban, she said.
The two Afghan officers said that those who surrendered were escorted by the Taliban to a nearby district where they were offered protection as long as they did not leave Kunduz province, reported Washington Post.
“We feel betrayed,” said Fawzia Yaftali, another Kunduz provincial council member, who accused the government in Kabul of making a deal with the Taliban to hand the terrorists control of the country’s north.
Afghanistan is witnessing a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified its offensive against Afghan forces and civilians with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away. (ANI)