The Taliban has launched the first attack on the provincial capital in Afghanistan since launching government forces against significant attacks, local officials said, causing panic among local communities and encouraging prisoners to get out of the city prison.
The fierce battle erupted on Wednesday in the western city of Qala-e-Naw, the capital of the Northwest Badghis Province, after armed group fighters arrested all the surrounding provincial districts.
“The enemy has entered the city, all districts have fallen. The battle has begun in the city,” Governor of Badghis Hessamuddin Shams told reporters in a text message. Badghis, Head of the Provincial Board of Abdul Aziz Defender and Zia Gul Habibi Board member stressed that the battle between Taliban and government forces erupted in the city.
“The battle continues in various parts of the city now,” said AFP news agency defender, added that some security officials had given up to the Taliban at night. “Qala-e-Naw is chaotic when security forces and people do not know what to do now,” said Defender to the Reuters news agency.
“More than 200 prisoners in the Badghis middle prison break the prison gate and escape,” he said. Habibi Provincial Board members said Taliban fighters were in the city police headquarters and local offices from the country’s spy agents, the National Security Directorate.
“Provincial council officials have fled to the army camp in the city. The battle continues in the city,” he said.
Since mid-April, when the US President Joe Biden announced the end to the “War forever” Afghanistan, the Taliban took steps throughout the country. But the most significant advantages have been in the northern part of the country, the traditional camp of US Allie’s strong people who helped their defeat in 2001.
The Taliban now controls about one-third of all 421 district and district centres in Afghanistan. Their progress has forced the army to surrender and civilians to escape. Shams said other districts in Badghis outside the capital were in the hands of the Taliban because they evacuated security forces.
Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi said in a statement of war entering the “difficult” stage and security forces who “defend Afghanistan and our colleagues with all their resources in all circumstances”.
The latest advances appeared a few days after Bagram’s main airbases near Kabul emptied US and NATO forces.
They led the operation for 20 years against the Taliban and allied al-Qaeda. The area under the Taliban control, especially in the north, the more strategic.
Running along the Afghan border with Central Asian countries. Last month, the group took control of the priest of Sahib, a city in Kunduz Province across Uzbekistan and gained control of the leading trade route.
Earlier this week, the Taliban won the Northeast Badakhshan province and the former Fortress of the Kandahar. Meanwhile, negotiations that happened between the Afghan government and the Taliban negotiator in Qatar have failed to make substantive progress in recent months. However, the conflicting party has held a meeting in the past few days.
Iran on Wednesday said the Taliban and representatives of the Afghan government were standing ready to help the end of the crisis in Afghanistan, urging the country’s people and politicians to make “difficult decisions” about the future.
Hosting a meeting of Afghan government representatives and high-level Taliban Political Committee, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “Committed to political solutions is the best choice”.