The Taliban, who controlled most of Afghanistan, including the border gates, moved towards the provincial centers. On Friday, militants first captured Zaranc, the capital of Nimroz province, which borders Iran in the southwest, and then immediately regained control of Shibirgan, the capital of northern Juzcan province. The Taliban, who are continuing their advance in the north of the country, yesterday entered the capitals of the provinces of Kunduz and Saripul of the same name. Controlling the two towns within hours, the Taliban also captured Talukan, the capital of northern Tahar province.
WITHDRAWAL OF THE ARMY
Informing the AFP news agency of the latest situation in Saripul, women’s rights activist Parwina Azimi said government officials and military forces withdrew to a barracks about three kilometers outside the town. On the other hand, the spokesperson for the Taliban said that they entered state institutions in Kunduz.
WHAT AWAITS KABUL
The Afghan Ministry of Defense announced that the commandos had launched a counterattack in Kunduz to retake buildings belonging to state radio and television and the campuses of critical public institutions. The total number of Taliban militants killed in clashes in 18 regions over the past 24 hours has been estimated at 572. The test that the government of Kabul will pass in northern cities is considered very important for its chances of survival. While northern Afghanistan has long been known as an anti-Taliban stronghold, the government in Kabul has said or done little about the fall of regional capitals other than a promise to “take it back”.
PRISONERS ARE FREE
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Meanwhile, with the capture of urban centers, we saw that the Taliban had access to prisons and released their supporters. Images shared on social media over the weekend indicated that many Taliban militants were released from prison. Kunduz housed large prisons for former members of the Taliban.
B-52 AIRCRAFT BOMB THE TALIBAN
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In the face of the organization’s rapid progress, the United States bombed Taliban positions in Juzcan province in northern Afghanistan. The Afghan Ministry of Defense reported that more than 200 militants were killed in the attack with B-52 bombers. The day before, the Afghan press had announced that US President Joe Biden had ordered the use of B-52 planes against the Taliban.
WHY IS BEAV IMPORTANT
Kunduz, one of Afghanistan’s largest cities, has been the biggest success story for the Taliban, which has gained space after foreign forces began to leave the country since May. Kunduz, which is the country’s gateway to the north, was under Taliban control for a short time in 2015 and 2016, but the organization never took refuge here for a long time. Its location makes the city strategically important.
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THE ROLE OF DRUGS
The area is on the border with Tajikistan and on roads connecting other major cities, including the capital, Kabul. Kunduz is also a key player in drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Central Asia and from there to Europe. Controlling Kunduz is controlling the most important drug trafficking route in the region.