AFGHANISTAN. Kabul: Taliban captured Zaranj city, the capital of Nimruz province in southwestern Afghanistan. It became the first provincial capital since the withdrawal of NATO and US forces.
The Taliban fighters entered the police commandery, airport, and governor office without any fighting and resistance, according to local and official sources.
Zaranj city is one of the isolated cities in the country that shares a border with Iran.
Taliban entered Zaranj city on Friday and shared photos and videos of their presence in Nimruz airport and the police commandery. Social media images showed armed Taliban fighters walking outside Nimroz governor’s office and in Police District 2 (PD2).
The Deputy governor of Nimroz confirmed collapsing of Zaranj City to the Taliban.
Zaranj is the first provincial capital in Afghanistan that fell to the Taliban during the ongoing Taliban attacks on cities. So far, Taliban has captured nearly 200 districts in Afghanistan.
Since the fall of districts, the Afghan government has repeatedly accused elders of handing over the districts to the Taliban. According to local sources in the Head of Nimruz Provincial Council has had hands in the fall of Nimruz with the mediation of Ulema and religious scholars in the area. The videos on social media show the Ulema are preaching about the end of the war in the district after this fall of Nimruz.
Meanwhile, the Taliban also released their prisoners from Nimruz prison. Videos shared by residents showed some individuals looting public property in Zaranj city.
Clashes in major cities
Severe clashes continue in many cities across Afghanistan. According to the reprots, the intense clashes continue in Shaberghan city of Jawzjan province. Along with this, the Taliban has also captured Marshal Dustom’s house.
The Lashkargah city of Helmand in the south of Afghanistan has been under heavy clashes for the past weeks, many fled, many civilians died, airstrikes targeted civilian houses burned in the fire, and according to wrong coordinates the Afghan government targeted the Helmand clinic. The Helmand University was also targeted by the government which is in the Taliban’s heartland.
In Herat, clashes entered to the 8th day on Saturday. People in villages around the west, south, and north of Herat have been fleeing their houses. On Friday, there was no Friday-Prayer in Ghaibatan and Havadeh villages which are captured by the Taliban in the west of the city.
The Taliban has been staging their attacks toward the city center from east, south, and west of Herat. They had a minor advance after pushing their attacks to Bekr Abad street, nearly 1 kilometer to the center of the city.
Also Read: The Surge of Clashes In South Afghanistan
Ismail Khan, Herat Jihadi leader who is leading the People’s Resistance Movement against the Taliban said that some Ulema, religious scholars, and Imams of Mosques reached out to him to stop defending Herat city and put his guns down to stop the bloodshed.
“Several Mullahs (Imams of Mosques) stood up against me in support of the Taliban,” Ismail Khan said. He also accused the Afghan government of “not acting its promise” to equip the People Resistance Forces up to now.
“The scholars The Ulema who came were most in favor of the Taliban. We did not accept their demands, not the governor.”