Kabul [Afghanistan]: Taliban on Saturday took control of four provincial capitals of Logar, Paktika, Kunar, and Paktia in the last 24 hours.
According to sources, along with four provincial capitals, ten districts also fell to Taliban as the group’s advances continue. Sources said the Taliban has released all prisoners in these provinces while local officials have relocated to the army bases in the four provincial capitals.
Reports say that there had been battles between the security forces and the Taliban in Sharana city, the centre of Paktika province, which finally led to the takeover of the Taliban on several key government installations including the police headquarters, office of the governor, the office of the National Directorate of Security (NDS).
“Just like Logar and Uruzgan, people wanted handover of areas to prevent bloodshed. Government officials evacuated and handed the areas to the Taliban,” said MP Mirza Mohammad Katawazi.
In the north, the Taliban took over Worsak and Sayed Karam districts in Takhar province, according to local officials.
“Previously, we urged the government to reinforce the checkpoints, but the government did not provide equipment on time,” Jawed Safi, an MP from Kunar.
“The Taliban launched offensives on Maidan Wardak. There was huge fighting in the centre of the province,” said Sharifullah Hotak, member of Maidan Wardak provincial council.
The government has said that the security forces have inflicted a major toll on the Taliban in the past 24 hours.
“From the begging till today, Afghanistan’s security and political situations have been under the control of the United States. The recent developments in the country are also part of America’s foreign policy,” said Sayed Amin Muqaddam, a political commentator.
But, the Ministry of Defense said the security situation will improve.
“Afghanistan’s security and defence will defend and protect the gains the country made over the past 20 years,” said MoD spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai.
This comes as President Ashraf Ghani assigned Gen Sami Sadat to lead efforts for Kabul security, according to the Presidential Palace.
Taliban has managed to get hold of half of the country’s 34 provincial capitals and now control roughly two-thirds of Afghanistan with the complete pullback of foreign troops just two weeks away.