Taliban take over four more Afghan districts
US pledges 37 Black Hawks, two fixed-wing attack aircraft to Kabul govt
A scene of a district headquarters.–TOTOnews
Four more districts in two provinces fell under Taliban control during the last 24 hours; however, Afghan forces also made advances in Kunduz and Takhar, reported TOLOnews on Tuesday.
Quoting officials and other sources, the TOLOnews said the centres of Khwaja Omari, Muqor and Waghaz districts in Ghazni and Khoshamand district in Paktika fell to the Taliban in the last 24 hours.
“From 18 districts in Ghazni, I think seven districts have fallen to the Taliban. In three districts, only the centre is under government control and three are somehow good,” said Khoddad Irfani, an MP from Ghazni.
After two weeks of clashes in different parts of Kunduz, particularly on the outskirts of Kunduz city, some stability has been restored since Sunday night. “The situation in the city is good, it is improving. All shops have been reopened,” Kunduz resident said.
“Security should be ensured. How long should this war continue? We are not calm during the day and night,” said a Kunduz resident.
The security forces said they will continue their efforts to strengthen their posts on the outskirts of Kunduz city. “All the security forces who have come to the centre of Kunduz from other districts have been deployed to different parts of the city,” said Shah Mahmood Fazli, acting commander of the first regiment of 217 Pamir Corps.
Abdullah Abdullah speaks
Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, a press conference said that the Afghan people will defend the country if war is imposed on them. “Peace was always the demand of the people of Afghanistan, but if the war has been imposed on them, they have no choice but to defend themselves," Abdullah said, “however, peace efforts are ongoing.”
“My message in the last meeting with Taliban representatives in Moscow was that both sides will not reach a result by force--by war. This will not be possible if the Taliban try to reach their target militarily,” Abdullah said.
US pledges 37 military hardware
The Afghan delegation in Washington was told that the US will provide 37 Black Hawk helicopters and two A-29 Super Tucano fixed-wing attack aircraft to Afghanistan, sources told TOLOnews.
Currently, Afghan forces have more than 160 helicopters and aircraft.
On Monday, Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, at a press conference said that the US will end its military presence in the country but will continue its assistance to Afghanistan and the Afghan air forces.
“A new chapter has been opened in US and Afghanistan relations,” he said.
In his meeting with the Afghan delegation, US President Joe Biden promised the Afghan leaders a “sustained” partnership even as he moves to accelerate winding down the US’s longest war in Afghanistan.
President Ghani and Chairman Abdullah also met at the Pentagon with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.
While Biden vowed that the US was committed to assisting Afghanistan, he also insisted that it was time for the American military to step back, according to the Associated Press report.
On Friday, President Ghani also said that Afghans will not be compelled to submission by force and that the Taliban should agree to a ceasefire and enter a political process.
Ghazni police officer killed
Ghazni police officer Yunus Ramazani was killed and three more were wounded in a roadside bomb blast in the province.
The incident occurred in PD6 of Ghazni city when Ramazani's vehicle hit a roadside mine, according to sources. Local officials have not yet commented on the blast. No group has claimed responsibility.