Afganistan: The Taliban’s march through northern Afghanistan gained momentum overnight with the capture of several districts from fleeing Afghan forces, several hundred of whom fled across the border into Tajikistan, Aljazeera reported.
More than 300 Afghan military personnel crossed from Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province as Taliban fighters advanced towards the border, Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security said in a statement on Sunday. The Afghan troops crossed over at about 6:30 pm local time on Saturday.
“Guided by the principles of humanism and good neighbourliness,” the Tajik authorities as per Aljazeera allowed the retreating Afghan government forces to cross into Tajikistan, said the statement.
Since mid-April, when US President Joe Biden announced the end to Afghanistan’s “forever war”, the Taliban has made strides throughout the country. But its most significant gains have been in the northern half of the country, a traditional stronghold of the US-allied strongmen who helped defeat them in 2001.
The Taliban now controls roughly a third of all 421 districts and district centres in Afghanistan.
“Unfortunately, the majority of the districts were left to Taliban without any fight,” said Rahman. In the last three days, 10 districts fell to Taliban, eight without a fight, he as per Aljazeera said.
Hundreds of Afghan soldiers, police and intelligence troops surrendered their military outposts and fled to the Badakhshan provincial capital of Faizabad, said Rahman.
In late June, the Afghan government resurrected volunteer militias with a reputation of brutal violence to support the beleaguered Afghan forces but Rahman said many of the fighters in the Badakhshan districts put up only a half-hearted fight.