Violence and Warfare Spread in Afghanistan, Development Solution Urgent
Aug. 11, 2021 (EIRNS)— On the ground, reports are that the Taliban captured two more provincial capitals yesterday, Aibak and Farah, both in northern Afghanistan. This morning, President Ashraf Ghani flew to Mazar-e-Sharif where he was to meet with former defense minister Rashid Dostum, former Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor and security officials in the province, an unnamed official told TOLOnews. The meeting will focus on coordination between the defense and security forces and the mobilization of the public uprising forces and launching clearance operations in cities that have fallen to the Taliban, a source said.
Ghani’s arrival in Mazar-e-Sharif coincided with reports that hundreds of Afghan troops surrendered with their equipment to the Taliban outside Kunduz even as the government was claiming the recapture of Farah.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, meanwhile, is calling the situation in the country disastrous for civilians. Bachelet reported that “at least 183 civilians have been killed and 1,181 injured, including children,” in the cities of Lashkar Gah, Kandahar, Herat and Kunduz since July 9. “Government officials and local leaders report that 20,000 to 30,000 have been displaced by the recent days’ fighting, mostly in the area of Kandahar.”
The Washington Post reported last night that U.S. intelligence estimates, which had previously assessed that Kabul could fall to the Taliban in 6-12 months after U.S. withdrawal, have been revised to now say that Kabul could fall within 30-90 days. As a result, Pentagon planners are said to be working on the assumption that evacuation of the U.S. Embassy might be needed in the short term.