Reuters 

Kabul: On Saturday, the second provincial capital, Sheberghan, was taken over by the Taliban in below 24 hours, officers reported. 

The Deputy Governor of Jawzjan province advised AFP that authorities forces had deserted Sheberghan metropolis and retreated to the airport on its outskirts, the place they had been getting ready to defend themselves.

Sheberghan is dwelling to warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, who solely returned to Afghanistan this week from medical therapy in Turkey, however is at present in Kabul.

Aides stated he was assembly with President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday in an try to influence the nation’s chief to fly in reinforcements.

“We’ve got demanded the federal government deploys no less than 500 commandos so we might work to retake the town,” stated the celebration’s spokesman, Ehsan Niro.

The Taliban have taken management of huge tracts of rural Afghanistan since early Could after they launched a sequence of offensives to coincide with the beginning of the withdrawal of international troops.

At the moment, the Afghan authorities largely deserted the countryside to the group however is now scrambling to defend a string of cities.

The struggle has additionally returned to the capital, with a senior authorities data official shot lifeless on the street on Friday, three days after the defence minister survived an assassination try.

The Taliban are in every single place

Qader Malia, deputy governor of Jawzjan province, advised AFP that Sheberghan had “sadly fallen”, however inside ministry spokesman Marwais Stanikzai insisted the Taliban had occupied solely components of the town.

“The safety forces, backed by reinforcements and the rebellion forces, will as soon as once more clear the town from the terrorists,” Marwais Stanikzai stated.

The assertion given by the inside ministry has been an everyday response to most Taliban beneficial properties in current weeks. Authorities forces have largely didn’t make good on guarantees to retake dozens of districts and border posts.

One resident of Sheberghan contacted by AFP stated folks had been staying behind closed doorways, fearful for his or her future.

“The Taliban are in every single place, with their flags, however from what I see by the window, the streets are abandoned,” the citizen acknowledged, asking to not be named.

“The combating has subsided inside the town… however we hear that the Taliban are transferring in the direction of the airport.”

On Friday, Zaranj metropolis in Nimroz fell “with no battle”, in accordance with its deputy governor, turning into the primary provincial capital to be taken by the Taliban.

There was extra resistance in Sheberghan, a number of sources advised AFP, however an aide to Dostum confirmed the town had been taken.

Dostum has overseen one of many largest militias within the north and garnered a fearsome repute combating the Taliban within the 1990s, alongside accusations that his forces massacred 1000’s of rebel prisoners.

Any retreat of Dostum’s fighters would dent the federal government’s current hopes that militia teams will help bolster the nation’s overstretched army.

In Zaranj, social media posts steered the Taliban had been welcomed by some residents of the desert metropolis.

The social media posts confirmed captured army Humvees, luxurious SUVs, and pickups dashing by the streets, flying white Taliban flags as native residents – largely youths and younger males – cheered them on.

On getting into Zaranj the insurgents opened the gates of the town jail, officers stated, releasing Taliban prisoners.

Movies on Twitter confirmed mobs looting authorities places of work, stealing desks, workplace chairs, cupboards, and televisions.

A recent social media video emerged Saturday of comparable scenes from Sheberghan, nonetheless, the accuracy of the clips couldn’t be confirmed.

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