February 2, 2023

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Afghanistan: Taliban seize Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif, close to total country takeover | The world

The Leaving only Kabul, the only capital under the control of the Afghan government, they captured the eastern city of Jalalabad a day after taking over the northern Mazar-i-Sharif.

With the fall Jalalabad y Masar-i-SharifAfter 10 days of rapid victories against government forces and local fighters who were once strongholds against the Taliban, the rebels control almost the entire country.

See: US raises 5,000 troops in Afghanistan, Taliban warns

“We woke up this morning and the white flags of the Taliban were flying all over the city. They entered without a fight.” Ahmed Wali from the village commented Jalalabad Who confirmed the version published by the rebels on their social networks.

A few hours before the capture Masar-i-SharifThe endangered Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, has sought to plan power with a message to the country that he is talking about “removing” the military as it seeks a “political solution” to the crisis.

But recent defeats have dealt a severe blow to Gani and his government, leaving the Taliban with militants within an hour of leaving Kabul and controlling all cards in negotiations over the surrender of capital.

U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered the deployment of 1,000 more troops to ensure the emergency evacuation of thousands of Afghans serving with embassy staff and U.S. forces.

See: US withdraws, Taliban return: Twenty years later, they are ready to regain power in Afghanistan

They are joined by 3,000 U.S. troops deployed in recent days and the remaining 1,000 are due to be completed by September 11, after Biden announced in May that he would finally withdraw his 20-year military presence in Afghanistan.

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Biden said Saturday that his decision was called into question following the fall of the Afghan army, but that he had no choice.

“I was the fourth president in the presence of US troops in Afghanistan: two Republicans, two Democrats. I do not want to reduce this war to one-fifth, I will not do it.Biden said.

A Taliban militant stands guard on a street in Herat on August 14, 2021. (Photo: AFP).

Heavy fighting

The Taliban quickly took control Masar-i-Sharif.

“They marched in their vehicles and motorcycles and shot the celebratory scenes in the air,” he said. Said Adikullah Kayor, who lives near the city’s famous Blue Mosque.

Cadillos Abdul Rashid Dostam O Atta Mohammad Noor, Who led a protest in the city in support of government forces, Fled to Uzbekistan, About 30 km north, said a close friend of Noor’s.

Noor later tweeted that they had been betrayed by the military and that they were in a “safe place”.

The Taliban's frantic advance in Afghanistan.  (AFP).
The Taliban’s frantic advance in Afghanistan. (AFP).

As the Taliban closed the capital, frightened villagers formed long queues in front of banks waiting to withdraw their savings, and some offices ran out of money.

Residents near the Pul-e-Sarki prison on the outskirts of Kabul said the AFP heard gunfire from inside the prison.

In the first message he sent to the country after the Taliban advanced, Ghani said he wanted to control the violence.

“I will not allow the war imposed on the people to cause more deaths.”He declared with a bad face.

Gani said the armed forces would be “removed” and that there were plans to stop further fighting, although he did not provide further details.

The House of Representatives later said that “an authorized representative should be appointed by the government for negotiations.”

“Crying day and night”

For the people of Kabul and the tens of thousands of people who have sought refuge in recent weeks, the prevailing sentiment is fear and apprehension.

Mujta, a 35-year-old single woman who fled the neighboring Parwan and came to the capital with her two sisters, said she was terrified.

“I have been crying day and night. If the Taliban come and force me to marry them, I will commit suicide.” He promised the AFP.

The Taliban They imposed a strict version of Islam when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

Ammunition in Afghanistan.  (AFP).
Ammunition in Afghanistan. (AFP).

The scale and pace of their progress surprised Afghans and the US-led coalition, which invested billions of dollars in the country after defeating the rebels after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Afghan soldiers, units and entire units have surrendered and handed over vehicles and military equipment to the Taliban for their offensive.

Biden warned Saturday that if the rebels try to disrupt the U.S. exit, they will face a “quick and strong U.S. military response.”

The Taliban attack has in recent days captured Herat in the north and Kandahar, the spiritual heart of the group in the south.

Azadabad, the capital of Kunar in the east, and Cortez were captured on the Saturday before Masar-i-Sharif.

Following Khani’s speech, analyst Syed Nasser Mosavi said he was “ready to make some sort of arrangement that would not involve surrender.”

Afghanistan, opposite sides.  (AFP).
Afghanistan, opposite sides. (AFP).

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