Taliban capture more Afghan territory in swift offensive as violence surges
Kabul, June 23 (EFE).- The Taliban have captured three more Afghan districts in their swift offensive in which they have overrun large swathes of territory and forced hundreds of government troops to surrender.
Sources told EFE that Afghan army soldiers made “tactical” retreats from Patan in Paktia, Ab-band in Ghazni, and Khash in Badakhshan provinces in the past 24 hours since Tuesday morning.
The Taliban captured an army base in the southern Ghazi province after three days of a heavy battle, leaving 28 Afghan soldiers dead or injured.
Amanullah Kamrani, deputy head of the provincial council, told EFE that the other soldiers at the camp surrendered to the Taliban and laid down their weapons after “the government failed to provide them air support.”
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the territorial gains.
The insurgents have now captured 58 districts in 20 Afghan provinces in the past month and a half.
It is the first time in the past two decades of war that the insurgents have expanded their control over such large swaths of territory.
On Tuesday, the Taliban seized control of the strategically important transit port of Shir Khan Bander in Kunduz, situated at the northeastern border with Tajikistan.
It is one of the eight main trading ports in Afghanistan.
President Ashraf Ghani will travel to the United States on Thursday and seek military assistance amid surging violence and territorial loss to the Taliban.
Presidential advisor Waheed Omer said the main issue between Ghani and President Biden would “be the provision of equipment, training and other financial assistance for the Afghan forces.”
Ghani’s visit comes as the US and other foreign troops have begun withdrawing from the country since May 1. The withdrawal will conclude by Sep.11. EFE