Taliban Detain Afghan Warlord Ismail Khan As Herat Falls

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The capture of Ismail Khan and Afghan government officials, including the governor, police chief, head of the NDS office comes after the terrorist group seized the western city of Herat, Afghanistan’s third-biggest city, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Former Mujahideen leader and senior member of Jamaat-e-Islami party, Ismail Khan, whose militia helped US forces topple the Taliban in 2001, was captured on Friday by the Taliban along with other top government officials, local media citing sources said.

The capture of Khan and Afghan government officials, including the governor, police chief, head of the NDS office comes after the terrorist group seized the western city of Herat, Afghanistan’s third-biggest city.

“Sources said all government officials, including governor, police chief, head of the NDS office, ex-mujahedeen leader Mohammad Ismail Khan, the deputy minister of interior for security, and the 207 Zafar Corps commander have surrendered to the Taliban after Herat fell to the Taliban,” TOLO News said in a tweet.

On Thursday, the Taliban claimed to have seized Herat amid US troop withdrawal from the country. Herat “was also captured,” Sputnik reported citing a Taliban statement.

Buildings in the province, including the police headquarters, came under Taliban control, and government forces “laid down their arms,” it added.

Local media and journalists posted images and videos of Afghan forces fleeing from the city in the western part of Afghanistan.

Earlier the same day, the Taliban captured Ghazni, the country’s tenth provincial city to fall under Taliban control.

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.

Due to rising violence in the country by the Taliban, the situation is deteriorating badly as the terror group has been looting people and killing civilians after capturing multiple areas from the government.

The Taliban escalated its offensive against the Afghan forces soon after the US forces started leaving Afghanistan in large numbers after the peace deal signed between Washington and the Taliban in February last year.

On Wednesday, President Ashraf Ghani appointed a new chief of army staff in an attempt to give a robust response to the terror group on the ground.

Haibatullah Alizai replaced Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, as the new chief of army staff. Alizai previously worked as commander of the Afghan National Army Commando.

Doha meet urges political settlement

The recent envoys’ meet held in Doha over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan has called for an end to violence in the country and urged for a political settlement saying that a government-imposed by force will be a pariah state.

Participants reaffirmed that they will not recognise any government in Afghanistan that is imposed through the use of military force.

Members raised grave concerns about reports from across Afghanistan with respect to continued violence, large numbers of civilian casualties and extra-judicial killings, widespread and credible allegations of human rights violations. They urged both sides to respect human rights, including the rights of women and minorities, and work on a mechanism to deliver a representative government.

New Delhi also participated in the meet. Head of India’s delegation Jitender Pal Singh attended the Doha meet on Afghan peace on Thursday.

The meet called for a commitment not to allow any individuals or groups to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of other countries

India, US, China, Pakistan, UK, UN, EU and other countries’ envoys at the invitation of the Qatari government attended the Doha meet on Thursday aimed at assessing the status of intra-Afghan negotiations and bringing peace in Afghanistan. As the Taliban is fighting Afghanistan’s government forces extensively and has taken control of 12 provincial capitals in the country. (ANI)

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