The Taliban seized close to complete management over one other provincial capital in northern Afghanistan on Monday, native and safety officers stated, a day after the rebel group took three others, together with the strategic and economically necessary metropolis of Kunduz.
It’s the sixth provincial capital to have fallen in a matter of days as Taliban forces, emboldened by the departure of U.S. troops from the nation, have sped up their marketing campaign throughout Afghanistan.
Preventing on the outskirts of Aybak, the capital of Samangan Province, started on Monday morning because the Taliban pushed into the town, having toppled a close-by district two days earlier. By the afternoon, many of the metropolis was below rebel management, and most authorities forces had fled.
“Aybak fell to the Taliban, and all officers and safety forces retreated,” stated Assadullah, a dispatcher at Samangan Police headquarters who makes use of only one identify. “Now I’m hiding within the metropolis.”
Raaz Mohammad Mowahid, a member of the Samangan provincial council, stated that the town had collapsed however that there had not been a lot preventing between authorities troops and the Taliban.
“Safety forces retreated to a mountain to the south,” Mr. Mowahid stated.
Aybak sits on the primary freeway that connects Kabul, the nation’s capital, to Afghanistan’s northern provinces. Town’s fall implies that the Taliban have successfully positioned a stranglehold on a lot of Balkh Province and its immensely necessary capital, Mazar-i-Sharif.
Nazir Ahamad, a cellphone vendor within the metropolis, stated that the Taliban had seized the entire authorities buildings in Aybak and that outlets had been closed. Lots of of prisoners had been additionally launched from the jail.
“The Taliban entered and not using a gunshot,” he stated.
Contributing to the collapse of the town on Monday was the defection of a former member of Parliament and outstanding militia commander who joined the Taliban, bringing a whole lot of fighters with him, two officers stated. The transfer unfold panic within the ranks of the Afghan forces as Taliban fighters closed in.
The rebel group’s speedy growth and seizure of necessary city facilities throughout the north has put the Afghan authorities in a tenuous place.
Resupply traces to authorities forces are severed, and the cities and districts nonetheless below the federal government’s management — lengthy thought of islands below menace by the Taliban — are much more minimize off and remoted.
Now, the Afghan authorities should determine whether or not to reconstitute its forces across the territory it holds — together with Kabul, which might quickly come below assault — or attempt to retake their fallen cities.
On Monday, preventing was persevering with on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif and contained in the provincial capital of Baghlan, one other necessary province to the southeast of Samangan.
U.S. airstrikes in assist of the Afghan forces have been muted and prominently concentrated away from the north. On Sunday, as Afghan troops reeled from their defeats, it was clear that america was not coming to their rescue.