Heavy fighting between Afghanistan security forces and the Taliban in the city of Sheberghan, the capital of Jawzjan province, continued for a second consecutive day on Saturday, reports Asian Lite News
The US on Saturday asked its citizens to leave war-torn Afghanistan as the Taliban intensified its attacks in recent days.
“The US urges its citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options. Given the security conditions and reduced staffing, the Embassy’s ability to assist US citizens in Afghanistan is extremely limited even within Kabul,” the US Embassy in Kabul said in a statement.
Earlier at a media briefing on Friday, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the US is “closely tracking” and is “concerned about” retaliatory killings of civilians in Afghanistan.
“If the Taliban claim to want international legitimacy, these actions are not going to get them the legitimacy they seek. They do not have to stay on this trajectory. They could choose to devote the same energy to the peace process as they are to their military campaign,” Afghanistan’s TOLO News quoted Psaki as saying.
Since the foreign troops started leaving Afghanistan, the Taliban had been extensively fighting with the Afghan government in an attempt to gain control of key areas.
Heavy fighting in Sheberghan
Heavy fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in the city of Sheberghan, the capital of Jawzjan province, continued for a second consecutive day on Saturday.
Since the fighting started on Thursday, the Taliban has so far captured some key areas, including the provincial prison, said a TOLO News report.
Some key areas in the city remained contested for the last 24 hours.
The Taliban took over the provincial Governor’s compound on Friday, but it was re-taken by Afghan forces.
However, sources have said that Taliban recaptured the compound and a municipality building.
The security forces are being supported by public forces loyal to Junbish-e-Milli or the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan led by former Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum.
At least 150 members of the public uprising forces loyal to Junbish and led by Commander Ali Sarwar have arrived in Sheberghan to help other forces on the ground, TOLO News quoted a senior official as saying.
Dostum’s son Yar Mohammad is leading the public uprising forces.
This latest development comes as the UN chief in Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons on Friday asked the Taliban to stop attacking Afghanistan’s provincial capitals.
The group took over Zaranj city, the capital of Nimroz province, on Friday that was the first province to fall to the Taliban since the announcement of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. (ANI/IANS)