Fighting underway in strategic cities of northern Afghanistan
FILE PHOTO: Humvees that belong to Afghan Special Forces are seen destroyed during heavy clashes with Taliban during the rescue mission of a police officer besieged at a check post, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2021.

Fighting underway in strategic cities of northern Afghanistan

The Afghan security and defense forces have been fighting hard to curb an advancing Taliban insurgency in the northern provinces of Jowzjan, Sar e Pul, and Kunduz where the Taliban insurgents have made advancement, according to local sources.

A local source told Kabul Now that the Taliban insurgents have advanced in some areas of Sar e Pul.  Assadullah Khuram, a member of Sar e Pul Provincial Council, said today, August 08, that the Taliban insurgents have taken control of the provincial building and the police headquarters in Sar e Pul city.

Local authorities including the governor have retreated to an army battalion on the outskirt of the city. The insurgents have followed them to the battalion and clashes are underway between the Afghan forces and the insurgents.

Abdul Haq Shafaq, the governor for Sar e Pul, confirmed to Kabul Now that the city has fallen to the Taliban. He said the government forces resisted for 40 days.

The Taliban insurgents have set government facilities and buildings on fire, locals who have eyewitnessed the scene told Kabul Now.  

A local journalist told Kabul Now that the Taliban are patrolling the city and they have started searching houses in parts of Sar e Pul. 

Located in northern part of the country, Sar e Pul is an insecure province where except Balkhab, the Taliban insurgents control the rest of its districts.

The insurgents have fought their way to take control over the strategic Kunduz city.  Amruddin Wali, a member of Kunduz Provincial Council, told Kabul Now that after two days of intense fight, the Taliban has taken control over Kunduz city and they currently control all parts of Kunduz including provincial building, police headquarters, and the provincial office of the National Directorate of Security. Local officials have retreated to Kunduz airport.  

The Taliban have set markets on fire, according to Mr. Wali.

A statement issued by the Afghan elite force command, said that a clearance operation is underway in Kunduz city.  

The Taliban has claimed that its militants have taken control over the cities of Sar-e Pul and Kunduz.

On Saturday, August 07, the Taliban claimed the strategic city of Sheberghan, the provincial capital for Jowzjan, and a day before, they took control over city of Zaranj, provincial capital for Nimruz.

A picture circulating on social media shows armed Taliban at Marshal Dostum’s place posing a group photo.