AFGHANISTAN. Kabul: Wakhan district of Badakhshan fell in the hands of the Taliban on Wednesday, forcing the Afghan security forces to flee to Tajikistan. Wakhan was the last district of 28 districts of Badakhshan to be in the control of the Afghan government.
Taliban captured all the districts of Badakhshan except the Faizabad city of the province within a week. Badakhshan is a strategic province of Afghanistan that shares a border with Tajikistan, China, and Pakistan.
In western Afghanistan, Badghis Governor Hassamuddin Shams said that all six districts in Badghis have completely fallen to the Taliban and that the group has now entered Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital. By the afternoon, Afghan forces could push back the Taliban from Qala Naw city.
Sources said that on Tuesday night, five Badghis government officials along with dozens of security forces joined the Taliban. Plus, the Taliban surrounded hundreds of security forces and some senior officials.
Videos that went viral on Wednesday after the Taliban captured the last district of Badghis, show they stormed the province’s central prison and released all of their prisoners.
Following the fall of districts, some districts fell to the Taliban without any fight and resistance. Taliban took over all the 16 districts of Takhar province except the city of Talghan. According to Tajikistan media and Afghan officials, 1587 Afghan forces fled to Tajikistan after the Taliban took over the districts of Takhar three days ago.
Tajikistan has said it is deploying 20 thousand troops to the border with Afghanistan following Taliban advances in the border provinces.
Taliban captured over 150 districts of Afghanistan in the past two months. The Afghan government has said the districts that have fallen to the Taliban without fight and resistance was tactical retreat to prevent more casualties.
Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the Afghanistan Foreign Minister said, “80 districts all across Afghanistan fell to the Taliban because of a “pre-planned evacuation” rather than being controlled by the Taliban.”
Later, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said, “There is no deal of handing over the districts.”
Meanwhile, the invasion of the Taliban has forced many Afghans to flee their homes. At least thousands of families have been displaced according to Afghan officials. Some are leaving Afghanistan. This week, the Kabul Passport department has seen the highest demand for passports.
This comes as US and NATO countries leave Afghanistan while the peace talks collapsed and the Taliban are taking more territories day by day.
According to the Pentagon’s Central Command, withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan is more than 90 percent completed.
US generals predicted that the Afghan government may collapse six months after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the country.