First modification: 08/12/2021 – 14:33
After intense fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents, the extremists seized the main city of Ghazni province in southern Afghanistan. In a week, the militiamen managed to control 10 of the 34 provincial capitals of the country and now concerns are focused on the possible advance towards the capital, Kabul.
The city of Ghazni, in southern Afghanistan, joined the list of capitals taken by members of the Taliban group, which in less than a week seized approximately 65% of the territory.
“Ghazni fell to the Taliban this morning and the security forces withdrew from most of the city,” Amanullah Kamrani, deputy head of the Ghazni Provincial Council, told EFE on August 12.
Once again, the Taliban are on the rise since US and NATO troops announced their withdrawal this year. The armed group, which was ousted from power after the US invasion in 2001, has already seized strategic areas of the country and now controls the capitals of 10 of the 34 provinces.
Ghazni government forces departed for Kabul and other cities, prompting thousands of families to flee the province in hopes of finding safety in the capital. An estimated 400,000 people have had to be displaced by the fighting and terror that the fundamentalist group awakens.
Ghazni, a strategic province
The deputy head of the Ghazni Provincial Council, Amanullah Kamrani, said Thursday that the Taliban entered Ghazni from various directions and seized most of the government buildings, including the governor’s house and the police headquarters.
They also went to the city jail to free hundreds of prisoners, including some members of the Taliban.
Kamrani further said that top provincial officials left the city, including “Ghazni Governor Dawood Laghmani and the provincial police chief.”
Ghazni, located 150 kilometers southwest of Kabul, is a strategic province because it connects the Afghan capital with southeast and south Afghanistan and is one of the main cities in the country.
Fear for the reestablishment of Islamic law
Through Twitter, Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi confirmed the capture of Ghazni in an operation, in which he claimed, “dozens of soldiers were killed and a large number surrendered.”
Now, many fear that the rapid advance of the insurgents will continue in Kabul. According to US Intelligence, the Taliban could isolate the capital in 30 days and possibly take control in 90.
In addition to Ghazni, the Taliban captured the capitals of Nimroz and Farah in the west, Jawzjan, Samangan, and Sar-e-Pol in the northwest, and Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhshan, and Kunduz in northeast Afghanistan. All this in just seven days.
The Taliban, who controlled most of Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, now want to defeat the US-backed government and restore strict Islamic or Sharia law.
The group emerged in 1994 as one of the factions that fought during the civil war and two years later it came to control most of the country. Opponents and Western countries accused him of brutally applying his version of sharia and repressing religious minorities.
With EFE and Reuters