Afghanistan: Taliban fighters capture US military equipment
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An Afghan government official said efforts were under way to recapture Islam Qala – which is the main route from trade between the two countries – with the insurgents making sweeping gains across the country. Interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian said: “All Afghan security forces including the border units are present in the area, and efforts are under way to recapture the site.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the crossing was “under our full control”.
The news came hours after US President Mr Biden confirmed his country’s mission in Afghanistan would end on August 31- almost 20 years after it began – having “achieved” its goals.
Mr Biden admitted it was “highly unlikely” Kabul would be able to control the entire country.
However, Mr Biden added: “The status quo is not an option. I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan.”
He stressed said the United States “did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build”, insisting that the Afghan people alone should determine their future.
Mr Biden denied a Taliban takeoever was inevitable – but added: “The likelihood there is going to be one unified government in Afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly unlikely.”
Meanwhile the Taliban welcomed the announced withdrawal, withspokesman Suhail Shaheen saying: “Any day or hour that US and foreign troops leave earlier is a positive step.”
Neverthless Afghan President Ashraf Ghani claimed his government could handle the situation.
In a speech in the capital of Kabul, he said: “What we are witnessing is one of the most complicated stages of the transition.
“Legitimacy is ours; God is with us.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has claimed the Taliban currently controls more than two-thirds of the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, the Interfax news agency reported today.
The ministry called on all sides of the Afghanistan conflict to show restraint and said that Russia and the Moscow-led CSTO military bloc would act decisively to prevent aggression and provocations on the border.
Separately, speaking in Moscow on Friday, Taliban official Shahabuddin Delawar claimed his group controls 85 percent of territory in Afghanistan.
(More to follow)
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