© Reuters. Afghan Nationwide Military (ANA) troopers patrol the realm close to a checkpoint recaptured from the Taliban, within the Alishing district of Laghman province, Afghanistan July 8, 2021.REUTERS/Parwiz
(Refiling to appropriate reporting credit score to Dubai newsroom relatively than Tehran newsroom)
KABUL (Reuters) -Taliban fighters seized management on Thursday of a key district in western Afghanistan that features a main border crossing with Iran, Afghan safety officers mentioned, because the Islamist insurgents continued their speedy army advances across the nation.
Within the final week, the Taliban have overrun areas bordering 5 international locations – Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China and Pakistan – as overseas forces finish their two-decade intervention and the home safety scenario deteriorates.
Pitched battles between Taliban fighters and Afghan authorities forces have been additionally underway within the northern Balkh province bordering Uzbekistan.
Two senior safety officers advised Reuters on situation of anonymity that the Islam Qala border crossing with Iran, positioned in Herat province, had fallen to the Taliban and that Afghan safety and customs officers had fled throughout the border.
Al Alalam TV, Iran’s official Arabic language service, additionally reported that Afghan troopers had entered Iranian territory by way of the border crossing to flee the Taliban.
Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Afghan inside ministry, denied the experiences and mentioned the border crossing was nonetheless underneath the management of presidency forces.
Calls by Reuters to the workplaces of the provincial governor and police went unanswered.
One other safety official mentioned Taliban fighters had seized 5 districts in Herat and not using a combat.
Earlier this week, greater than 1,000 Afghan safety personnel fled into Tajikistan because the Taliban captured many of the northern province of Badakhshan, which additionally borders China and Pakistan.
CLASHES IN WESTERN PROVINCE
The defence ministry mentioned Afghan authorities forces earlier on Thursday wrested again management of Qala-e-Naw, capital of the western province of Badghis, which had been stormed by the Taliban on Wednesday.
A whole bunch of troops have been deployed to the area, the ministry mentioned, including that preventing was persevering with on the fringes of Qala-e-Naw, the place insurgents had earlier seized key authorities buildings within the metropolis together with police headquarters.
“Town is absolutely (again) underneath our management and we’re conducting operations towards the Taliban on the outskirts of town,” Defence Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman mentioned.
The ministry mentioned 69 Taliban fighters have been killed in operations on the sting of Qala-e-Naw – the primary main provincial capital entered by the insurgents of their newest offensive.
The remainder of Badghis province is in Taliban palms. Western safety officers say the Taliban have captured greater than 100 districts in Afghanistan. The Taliban say they maintain over 200 districts in 34 provinces comprising over half the nation. Main cities stay underneath authorities management.
The insurgents have been gaining territory for weeks however accelerated their thrust as the US vacated its essential Afghan base, successfully ending an intervention that started with the ousting of the Islamist Taliban authorities in 2001.
Taliban advances have been particularly dramatic in northern provinces the place that they had lengthy been stored at bay.
Cease-start peace talks between the federal government and insurgents stay inconclusive. Taliban delegations visited Iran on Wednesday and have been in Moscow on Thursday.
Defending the choice to tug U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, President Joe Biden mentioned on Thursday he didn’t anticipate the Taliban to take over the entire nation and that he trusted the Afghan army.
“We’re ending America’s longest battle,” he mentioned.