11 more Afghan districts fall to Taliban
Afghan army chief says Taliban want to cut food supply routes first
Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers walks inside the Bagram Airbase after all US and NATO troops left, some 70 Kms north of Kabul.–AFP
Amid claims by the new Afghan army chief to safeguard major cities, border towns and highways, the Taliban fights have captured 11 more Afghan districts during the last 24 hours – seven districts in Badakhshan, two districts in Kandahar, one in Parwan and one in Helmand, reported TOLOnews, quoting its sources.
The districts which have fallen to Taliban are Maimai, Nusai, Shuki, Khwahan, Ishakashim, Shuhada and Yawan in Badakhshan, Nish and Mianshin in Kandahar, Nawa in Helmand and Shinwari in Parwan.
Badakhshan residents in northeastern Afghanistan said the security situation in the province is alarming, following the fall of 24 districts around the country to the Taliban in the last few days. “Weak management led to the collapse of the districts,” said Muhayyuddin Munsif, a senator. “The situation will worsen if they don’t review their plans.”
“No district is under government control in Takhar after Worsaj collapsed. Only the city of Taluqan is under government control,” said Hamiduddin Yuldish, an MP from Takhar.
Tajik media reported that at least 1,000 Afghan security force members have sought safety across the border in Tajikistan through the bordering areas of Badakhshan. “Only the Kiran Munjan district and the centre of the district are left. Kiran Munjan will also be evacuated in the direction of Panjshir. Only Faizabad has been left. Based on our information, the Taliban have evacuated the outskirts of Faizabad – it could be for any reason,” said Zabihullah Atiq, an MP from Badakhshan.
“A large number of special forces and the commandos have arrived in Badakhshan and we will soon start operations to retake the lost areas,” said Gen Abbas Tawakuli, the commander of 207 Pamir Corps.
Meanwhile, 16 army soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on their outpost in Chesht district in Herat on Sunday night. However, the Defense Ministry said that 244 Taliban were killed in Afghan forces operations in the last 24 hours.
“The defence and security forces, with the steady support of the people, will defend the cities, districts and Afghanistan in general, based on a specific security plan, and lost areas will be cleared of the Taliban,” said Fawad Aman, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.
Afghan army chief
Admitting some shortcomings in protecting remote districts from falling to Taliban, the Afghan Army Chief Gen Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, who was newly appointed to his post, pledged that the top priority is to safeguard major cities, border towns and highways.
He said that the closure of border towns, supply routes and attacks on major cities and districts are among the goals of the Taliban, but he assured the people that such attempts will be repelled.
New Afghan Army Chief.
Talking to TOLOnews in an exclusive interview, Gen Ahmadzai reiterated that efforts will be made to mobilize the Afghan military to retake areas fallen to the Taliban. “There is no respect for anything ... the enemy is trying to conduct a trade war against us, create economic issues. They want to close the border towns through which wheat is imported for the people. They will never succeed. The Afghan people are vigilant and smart and know what this war is about,” Ahmadzai said.
The army chief said that the Taliban want to first cut supply routes and then launch their offensives on districts and cities.