Taliban takes control of Afghanistan’s major Tajikistan border crossing

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Taliban have captured Afghanistan’s main border crossing with Tajikistan, reports said quoting officials, with armed forces abandoning their posts and some fleeing across the frontier.

As per a report published by Al Jazeera, the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan’s main border crossing with Tajikistan, and some officers have abandoned their stations and fled across the border.

Shir Khan Bandar, located 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Kunduz, is the Taliban’s most major victory since ramping up operations on May 1, when the United States began the final steps of its troops’ departure.

The report quoting Khaliddin Hakmi, a member of the Kunduz Provincial Council, said: “Unfortunately this morning and after an hour of fighting the Taliban captured Shir Khan port and the town and all the border check posts with Tajikistan.”

“We were forced to leave all check posts … and some of our soldiers crossed the border into Tajikistan. By the morning, they (Taliban fighters) were everywhere, hundreds of them,” news agency AFP quoted an anonymous official source as saying.

The report added that Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, acknowledged that the fighters had taken control of the border crossing over the Pyanj River. Furthermore, AFP quoted him saying: “Our Mujahideen are in full control of Shir Khan Bandar and all the border crossings with Tajikistan in Kunduz.”

The strike comes as the UN special envoy for Afghanistan warned that Taliban insurgents had gained control of more than 50 of the country’s 370 districts since May and that fighting is expected to worsen. Deborah Lyons, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan, informed the UN Security Council. “Means increased insecurity for many other countries, near and far.”

“Those districts that have been taken surround provincial capitals, suggesting that the Taliban are positioning themselves to try and take these capitals once foreign forces are fully withdrawn.”

In recent days, fierce combat between Taliban and Afghan government troops occurred on the fringes of three provincial capitals in the northern provinces of Faryab, Balkh, and Kunduz, report s said quoting authorities.

Taliban victories, as well as the gradual evacuation of the remaining 2,500-3,500 US troops and 7,000 NATO soldiers, have heightened the urgency of efforts to reach a negotiated conclusion to Afghanistan’s long-running conflict.

The government’s and Taliban’s talks in Qatar have failed to yield results. While Taliban officials have stated that they are willing to engage, analysts believe the organisation appears to be more concerned with obtaining military successes in order to improve its negotiation position.

On Sunday, the White House said that US President Joe Biden will meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the country’s High Council for National Reconciliation, in charge of the government’s negotiation team.

The purpose of Friday’s meeting, according to a White House statement, is to reaffirm the United States’ financial and relief aid. “To support the Afghan people including Afghan women, girls, and minorities.”

Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, stated that their talk would include “continue to discuss how we can work together to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for militant groups who pose a threat to the US homeland.”


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