NewsTaliban seize key Kandahar district after fierce fighting

Taliban seize key Kandahar district after fierce fighting

-

Kandahar, Afghanistan: The Taliban have captured a key district in their former bastion of Kandahar after fierce night-time fighting with Afghan government forces, officials said Sunday, the latest area to be seized since US troops began their final withdrawal.

The insurgents have pressed on with their campaign to capture territory across Afghanistan’s rural areas since early May when the US military began the pullout.

The fall of Panjwai district in the southern province of Kandahar comes just two days after US and NATO forces vacated their main Bagram Air Base near Kabul, from where they led operations for two decades against the Taliban and their Al-Qaeda allies.

Over the years, the Taliban and Afghan forces have regularly clashed in and around Panjwai, with the insurgents aiming to seize it given its proximity to Kandahar city, the provincial capital.

The province of Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban, who went on to rule Afghanistan with a harsh version of Islamic sharia law until being overthrown by a US-led invasion in 2001.

Panjwai district governor Hasti Mohammad said Afghan forces and the Taliban clashed during the night, resulting in government forces retreating from the area.

“The Taliban have captured the district police headquarters and governor’s office building,” he told AFP.

Kandahar provincial council head Sayed Jan Khakriwal confirmed the fall of Panjwai, but accused government forces of “intentionally withdrawing”.

Fighting has raged across several provinces of Afghanistan in recent weeks and the Taliban claim to have seized more than 100 out of nearly 400 districts in the country.

Afghan officials dispute the claims but acknowledge that government troops have retreated from some districts. It is difficult to independently verify the situation.

The exit of foreign troops from Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, has fuelled concerns the insurgents will ramp up their campaign to capture new territory.

Bagram Air Base has great military and symbolic significance, with foreign forces previously stationed there offering vital air support in the fight against the insurgents.

Afghan authorities who have taken control of the base say they will use it to fight terrorism and have already re-activated its radar system.

AFP
AFP is a leading global news agency for comprehensive, verified coverage of events shaping the world.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Swiss unanimously votes for same-sex union referendum

GENEVA — In Switzerland, a controversial same-sex marriage referendum has been resoundingly approved by voters of the conservative, rich Alpine...

New Covid surge overwhelms hospitals in parts of US

WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to one of the country's top health officials, the spike in coronavirus cases in the...

China wants effeminate male celebs to man up

WASHINGTON — Macho men are in and effeminate male performers are out as Beijing expands its crackdown on China's entertainment...

Billie Eilish, BTS to perform at climate change concert

Billie Eilish, BTS, and Elton John, among others, will donate their star power to Global Citizen Live on Saturday...

Google faces off EU in court over record $5.1 billion antitrust fine

This week, Google will face the European Commission in a five-day court hearing, appealing a record $5.1 billion fine...

WHO’s Covax misses 2021 target. What went wrong?

The latest supply forecast for Covax – the programme for sharing COVID-19 vaccines around the world – suggests that accelerating vaccination...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you