Conflicts & War

Taliban seize first local army headquarters in northern Afghanistan

(Update 1: adds Taliban capture of local army headquarters)

Kabul, Aug 11 (EFE).- The Taliban captured on Wednesday the local army headquarters at Kunduz airport, becoming the first Afghan army corps in two decades of war to fall into insurgent hands, official sources confirmed.

The 217th Pamir Army Corps is one of the seven regional groups of the Afghan Defense Ministry and until now was in charge of ensuring the security of four provinces in the northwest of the country, including Kunduz, Baghlan, Takhar and Badakhshan.

“The Taliban captured the Pamir Corps compound and Kunduz airport today afternoon after security forces withdrew from the facilities,” Afghan MP and the province’s representative in the lower house of parliament, Nelofar Koofi, told Efe.

With the withdrawal of the security forces, the Kunduz provincial airport, which was used for military and civilian flights, also fell into Taliban hands.

“With this, the entire province of Kunduz fell into the hands of the Taliban and there are no more security forces left in the province,” the MP added.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Taliban captured the city of Faizabad in the northern province of Badakhshan from the security forces, making it the ninth regional capital to fall into the hands of the insurgent group in less than a week.

“Last night around 11.30 pm, Faizabad, the capital city of Badakhshan province, was captured by the Taliban,” Hujatullah Khiratmand, provincial representative in the Lower House of the parliament, confirmed to EFE.

After days of fighting, the Taliban forces managed to push back the security forces and enter the city, he added.

Consequently, “the security forces and some officials decided to evacuate the city” and move to Farkhar district in neighboring Takhar province, according to Khiratmand.

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