The Taliban have taken control of a strategic district near the capital, Kabul, which has been confirmed by security sources who have indicated that security forces have had to withdraw from the area.
The Governor of Maidan Uardak Province, Abdulrahman Tariq, has confirmed that the Taliban have taken control of Nerj District, less than an hour’s drive from Kabul, without disclosing the victims of the clashes.
“Unfortunately … the Taliban took control of the district yesterday (Tuesday) and the security forces carried out a tactical withdrawal,” he said in a statement to the Afghan television broadcaster Ariana.
Taliban spokesman Zabihulá Mujahid has confirmed the takeover of the district and stated in his report on the social network Twitter that “a large number of soldiers were killed, wounded or captured”. “All weapons, vehicles and ammunition are in the hands of the mujahideen,” he added.
The deputy spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, Fauad Aman, has announced the deployment of security forces to Maidan Uardak province, stressing that “Nerj district will become a cemetery for the Taliban”.
“New commandos have been deployed in Nerj, in Maidan Uardak. The district will soon be liberated from the Taliban. The Afghan army will not allow Taliban terrorists to harm the residents of Maidan Uardak,” he said of his account. On twitter.
The insurgents’ takeover of Nerj comes after the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire on Monday on the occasion of Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated this Thursday. The Afghan President Ashraf Ghani then decided on another ceasefire during this period and called for it to be made “permanent”.
The Taliban have been stepping up their offensives in recent days, coinciding with the start of the withdrawal of international troops and despite the peace talks that began in September with the government in the Qatari capital, Doha.
The process of withdrawal of US forces should be completed on May 1, according to the Washington-Taliban agreement signed in February 2020. However, US President Joe Biden said in April that this date would be extended to September 11, sparking a number of criticisms and warnings from the insurgents.
On the other hand, Mullah Manan Niazi, “number two” in a Taliban split led by Mullah Rasul, was injured in a confrontation in Herat province (west) on Tuesday, without any claim as to the authorship of the attack. Sources for the Afghan television broadcaster Tolo TV have stated that Niazi is “in a coma”.
Niazi himself, who also acts as the spokesman for the faction, rejected the appointment of Mullah Hebatullah Ajundzada as leader of the group in May 2016, asserting that “he was appointed by those whom Mansur (his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar) appointed Taliban leader had “which they also refused.
Mullah Mansur was killed in a US bomb attack in Pakistan on May 21, 2016. The Taliban confirmed his death days later and named Ajundzada as his successor, despite the fact that the faction led by Mullah Rasul opposed the appointment and sparked clashes between the two groups.