Conflicts & War

India evacuates its consulate staff from south Afghanistan amid Taliban surge

New Delhi, July 11 ??(EFE).- India Sunday said it had “temporarily” evacuated staff from its consulate in southern Afghanistan after heavy fighting near Kandahar amid rapid territorial gains by surging Taliban fighters.

The militants captured large swathes of Afghan territories since May 1, when the United States started withdrawing its troops from the war-ravaged country.

The Taliban fighters are now near the southern city.

“Due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India based personnel have been brought back for the time being,” Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

He emphasized that it was “a purely temporary measure until the situation stabilizes” in the country.

“The consulate continues to operate through our local staff members.”

Local broadcaster NDTV, citing anonymous official sources, said that 50 Indian employees at the consulate were evacuated last night in an armed forces plane.

The deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan has raised concerns among foreign missions and international humanitarian groups in the country.

The Australian embassy in Kabul closed in May amid fears that the country was heading into a civil war.

The Taliban now controls at least 117 of the 407 Afghan districts after their rapid surge since withdrawal.

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