• Wed. Nov 23rd, 2022

If the insurgents retain control of Kunduz, a vital commercial hub, they will have gained a significant military and political prize.

Aug 8, 2021

Security forces had retreated to the town earlier in the morning, officials said. It was unclear whether the government forces, already overstretched, would try to push the Taliban out of the city.
In the two preceding days, the Taliban had taken two other provincial capitals: Sheberghan, the capital of Jowzjan Province, and Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz Province on the Afghanistan-Iran border. As Kunduz was collapsing on Sunday morning, the Taliban also seized Sar-i-Pul, the capital of a northern province of the same name, officials said.
Taliban are walking in the streets of the city. Local residents are terrified, said Sayed Asadullah Danish, a member of the Sar-i-Pul provincial council. Provincial officials had taken shelter in an army base on the outskirts of the city, where clashes were continuing, he added.
The string of Taliban victories in cities marks a significant change in the insurgents offensive, which started in May as international troops, led by the United States, began withdrawing. After sweeping through the countrys rural areas, the insurgents military campaign has shifted to brutal urban combat in recent weeks as they have pushed into cities like Kandahar and Lashkar Gah in the south and Herat in the west.
The Talibans strategy has exhausted the Afghan governments forces and overwhelmed the local militia forces that the government has used to supplement its own troops, a move reminiscent of the chaotic and ethnically divided civil war of the 1990s.