Kabul: The Ministry of Defense and the 209th Shaheen Corps announced on Tuesday in separate statements that the Balkh district in Balkh province and Doshi district in Baghlan province have been recaptured by security forces.
The Ministry of Defense said that Doshi district of Baghlan province has been retaken by the security forces. Local media reported that government forces returned to the district without clashes.
Doshi district had fallen to the Taliban on Monday.
Meanwhile, the 209 Shaheen Corps said in a statement that the special forces of the army, in coordination with other security forces, cleared the center of Balkh district of the Taliban.
According to the statement, the operation was launched on Monday night and according to preliminary statistics, after 31 Taliban insurgents were killed, the district was taken over.
Meanwhile, local sources and members of the provincial council told Etilat Roz that the districts of Nahrin and Baghlan-e-Markazi in Baghlan, Shajoy district in Zabul, Qarqin and Khomab districts in Jawzjan, Chora district in Uruzgan, Ahmad Khel and Lajmangal in Paktia and Goltapa and Chardara districts of Kunduz and Shirkhan port are out of government’s control.
Safdar Mohseni, chairman of the Baghlan Provincial Council, said that the Baghlan-e Markazi district collapsed on Monday night and the Nahrin district fell to Taliban fighters on Tuesday.
Mohseni added that clashes between government forces and the Taliban had been going on for several hours in the Baghlan-e Markazi district. According to him, the number of casualties in this conflict has not been determined yet.
Earlier, in Baghlan in the northeast of the country, the districts of Burka, Dehna Ghori, Doshi and Jalga had also fallen to the Taliban. Dur Muhammad Qayam, secretary of the Zabul Provincial Council, said that the Shajoy district had been handed over to the Taliban without any clashes.
According to Qayam, the army forces stationed in this district have been transferred from this district to Qalat city, the center of Zabul, due to the ineffectiveness of their presence. Two weeks ago, local officials in Zabul confirmed to Etilat Roz that the Shinkai district in the province had fallen to the Taliban. A few days later, the Taliban released a video from the district announcing that they had escorted security and defense forces based in Shinkai to a government-controlled area.
Abdul Hai Hayat, a member of Jawzjan Provincial Council, also confirmed to Etilat Roz that the Qarqin and Khomab districts of the province had fallen to the Taliban without any clashes. Hayat added that army forces had retreated from these districts to Sheberghan, the capital of Jawzjan, without any serious threat from the Taliban. According to him, a small number of Taliban fighters came to the center of Qarqin and Khomab districts after the army withdrew and took control of them.
The Taliban have also taken control of Aqcha, Mangijak, Khanqah, Faizabad and Mardyan districts of Jawzjan over the past few days. Ahmad Shah Sahel, spokesman for the governor of Uruzgan, also confirmed that government forces had left the province’s Chora district. He said that the troops had left the district due to the ineffectiveness of their presence.
The Taliban, however, said they had recently taken control of the district. The group had previously captured the Uruzgan Khas and Gizab districts.
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Amruddin Wali, a member of the Kunduz Provincial Council, said that the Goltapa and Chahar Dara districts of the province had fallen to the group after clashes between security and defense forces and the Taliban.
He also stressed that the group has taken control of all parts of ShirKhan commercial port in Imam Sahib district of the province. Shirkhan commercial port on the border with Tajikistan is one of the economic arteries of Kunduz. Commercial goods are transported through this port to Central Asian countries and vice versa. In addition, Taliban fighters control the districts of Dasht-e Archi, Qala-e-Zal, Imam Sahib, Aliabad and Khanabad in Kunduz.
Kunduz Provincial Council Chairman Mohammad Yusuf Ayoubi said that fighting had broken out in Kunduz and that the Taliban had intensified their attacks on the outskirts of the city.
Paktia province also reported that the Taliban had taken control of Ahmad Khel and Lajmangal districts in the province. Abdul Malik Zazai chairman of the Paktia Provincial Council, confirmed the news of the fall of the two districts to Etilat Roz.
As the districts fell to the Taliban, the group also claimed control of Jaghatu in Maidan Wardak and Maiwand in Kandahar. But local sources in the provinces denied on the day the districts fell to the Taliban.
Sharifullah Hotak, a member of the Maidan Wardak provincial council, said that clashes were taking place between the Taliban and government forces in the provincial capital, Jaghatu. He added that a number of these forces had surrendered to the Taliban.
He expressed concern that if the air support was not provided to these forces, Jagharu district would fall to the Taliban. The Taliban had previously taken control of the Rim and Jalriz districts of the province.
Also, Ahmad Shah Khan, a member of the Kandahar Provincial Council, said that clashes were taking place between the Taliban and government forces in Maiwand district. He said that the group had already cut off telecommunication networks in Maiwand and that there were enough government troops in the district.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced that the Aliabad district of Kunduz province was retaken from the Taliban moments ago.
Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said on Tuesday that the country’s security and defense forces had recaptured the Aliabad district from the Taliban by carrying out purge operations.
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The Deputy Spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said that the advance of the security forces in Kunduz continues.
Government forces recaptured Doshi and Balkh districts from the Taliban overnight. The Taliban, however, says no districts have been taken back from them.
Security sources in Kunduz confirm that the Taliban have seized parts of ShiKhan port.
Meanwhile, Sarwar Danesh, the second vice-president, has said that for more than two years, the Taliban and its supporters have been raising the slogan of peace and gained relative international legitimacy with the help of some other countries.
Danesh posted a note on his Facebook page saying that the Afghan government, which increasingly saw peace as a national necessity for Afghanistan before the Taliban, welcomed the slogan; but the Taliban have so far proved by their actions that they have not the slightest belief in peace and will accept nothing, but monopoly.
According to him, Taliban representatives are also symbolically present at the Doha talks and have so far not attended any effective and meaningful talks. Danesh wrote, “The clearest evidence of this claim is the escalation of violence and war. Whereas today, with the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, there is no legitimate justification for war; but the Taliban and their supporters, without any shame, have called their belligerence a victory and are clearly laughing at the beards of all claimants and supporters of peace, trying to seize as much territory as possible.”
The second vice-president said that the Taliban had started their so-called conquests from areas and territories that had no social or cultural acceptance among the people of those areas. He said that the northern and central provinces of Afghanistan had shown in the 1970s that they would not succumb to the Taliban’s coercion and monopoly and would not allow the Taliban to rule.
Danesh wrote that the Taliban are repeating exactly the same mistake of the 1970s; but eventually they will drown in the whirlpool of the turbulent wave they created, and soon the country’s defense and security forces will teach them another lesson that will not be forgotten forever.
He added, “Along with the defense and security forces, mass popular uprisings and widespread national resistance within the framework of state sovereignty are being formed to defend the republic and to suppress the enemies of the system. There is enough political consensus among the three branches of government and among politicians and political parties to defend the system and the republic and oppose the Taliban.”
Danesh has emphasized that if the Taliban does not accept peace and a political solution, it will not achieve its goals through military means and escalation of war, and the Afghan people will never accept the humiliation of surrendering to tyranny and monopoly. Recently, however, the scale of the war in Afghanistan has expanded, with several districts falling to Taliban militants without conflict every day.
Meanwhile, UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet has voiced her concern over the sharp increase in violence and harm to civilians in Afghanistan. In a statement issued after the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Bachelet said the recent attack on “a school in a Hazara area of Kabul – which killed 85 children, most of them girls – was especially shocking.”
She stated that in the six months since talks began between the Afghan government and the Taliban, civilian casualties increased by 41 percent compared to the same period one year previously. “The withdrawal of international forces, which is expected to be completed by September, is creating fear for the future – particularly among women, minority communities, human rights defenders and journalists – with deep concern about the risks of losing gains hard-won over the last twenty years,” she said.
“I urge all parties to resume the stalled peace talks and to urgently implement a ceasefire to protect civilians. The independent role of the courageous Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission must be protected. Given the rapid deterioration of this situation, I encourage the Council to increase its monitoring and to consider mechanisms for an effective prevention response,” she said.