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Taliban Fighters Seized Many Afghanistan Districts as Foreign Troops Withdrew

The United Nations has warned as the Taliban insurgents have taken many districts in Afghanistan due to the withdrawal of foreign troops. All the key districts in the northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan have been seized by the Taliban fighters. UN special envoy Deborah Lyons gave the warning of dire scenarios. She also said that increased conflicts mean escalated insecurity for several other countries. Almost 50 out of 370 districts are captured by the insurgents since May.

The NATO and US are still targeting to pull out their troop by September. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said that the situation is dynamic; even though the gains of the Taliban have not changed the withdrawal, there was still flexibility to change its scope and pace. Ms. Lyons told the Security Council that the recent advances of the hardline Islamist group were the consequence of intensified military campaign. The Taliban fighters will try to capture the districts around provincial capitals once the forces from foreign are completely withdrawn.

The Taliban captured the main border crossing with Tajikistan on June 22. The crossing is located in the northern province of Kunduz, where the fight increased in recent days. As per the Taliban fighters, they have acquired control of the entire province, and only the provincial capital is retained by the government. However, the Kabul defense ministry said that the Afghanistan forces have again acquired some of the districts, and all the operations are ongoing. The city Kunduz is significant as it was captured in 2015 by the insurgents and then recaptured by NATO-backed government forces a year later.

As per the local media report, the Taliban have seized a huge amount of military equipment and have killed or captured many troops. The casualty numbers of the group are still unclear.

Bitter Fighting

Many videos are being circulated by the Taliban on their website and in the WhatsApp groups in which they claim to present the government soldiers. These soldiers are told to return back to their homes and receive money from the Taliban. On June 20, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhunzada, the Taliban leader, issued a statement ordering their soldiers to provide better treatment to those who surrender well and show good behavior with them. However, the fighting in some districts has been bitter, and both sides are suffering casualties in this. After the withdrawal of the NATO forces and US troops, the fighting will be way more in favor of the Taliban.

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