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Abdullah calls for system support as clashes close in on Kabul

Addressing the sixth session of the HCNR’s Leadership Committee meeting, Abdullah stated that as the international forces are close to completing their withdrawal process, a security vacuum has been created.

He said the Taliban could intensify violence if a unified political consensus is not created.

Abdullah stated that the group is playing for time; and that Afghan leaders have to determine their priorities.

“While we want peace, war is approaching the gates of the Afghan capital; I think a declaration of the full support of the elders is necessary,” Abdullah said.

The HCNR chairman also called for more international mediation amid stalled peace talks in Doha, Qatar.

“The contact teams are in touch with each other. Mediation by the United Nations and Qatar has also increased, and [hopefully] this will lead to the acceleration of the peace process,” he added.

This comes as clashes have continued to intensify across the country.

In the latest development, Taliban militants seized control of six district centers – in Takhar, Kapisa, Balkh, Samangan, Ghazni, and Kandahar provinces – in the past 24 hours, local sources told Ariana News.

According to the sources, Farkhar district in Takhar, Alasay in Kapisa, Kaldar in Balkh, Feroz Nakhchir in Samangan, Gelan in Ghazni, and Khakrez in Kandahar province fell to the Taliban in this time.

Kaldar, in Balkh, fell to the Taliban last week but Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in cooperation with local uprising forces, led by the province’s former governor, Atta Mohammad Noor, regained control of the district on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, the Taliban released a video claiming the group had recaptured the district center.

Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said early Wednesday the ANDSF had pushed back the Taliban in many areas across the country.

“We have captured many areas and have launched heavy attacks on the enemy,” said Aman.

Local sources, meanwhile, told Ariana News that the Taliban have also recaptured Mirzaka district in Paktia, Dawlat Abad in Faryab, Shortepa and Kaldar in Balkh, Chah Ab, and Hazar Smoch in Takhar and Tala wa Barfak in Baghlan.

“Seven out of 14 districts are under Taliban control in the province,” said Shafiqullah Ahadi, an activist in Baghlan.

Sources in Takhar and Badakhshan provinces also said that the security situation had deteriorated in their provinces.

“Taliban have surrounded Takhar province, but operations have not started so far,” said Sayed Sayyed Salahuddin Burhani a member of Takhar provincial council.

“Taliban attempt to seize more areas,” said Ziaullhaq, an MP.

In addition, the Taliban has also reportedly seized control of the Khakrez district in Kandahar province and heavy clashes are ongoing in Grishk, Garmsir, Marjah, Nad Ali, and Nawa districts of Helmand province, as well as in the provincial capital Lashkhargah.

“Taliban want to capture districts, and Lashkargah city will also fall if the government does not help,” said Attaullah Haq Bayan, head of Helmand provincial council.
Afghan Commandos meanwhile have retaken control of the Imam Sahib Port in Kunduz after the Taliban seized the port last week.

Abdul Hadi Nazari, a spokesman for the 217th Pamir Military Corps, said at least 13 Taliban had been killed in the operation.

The Taliban has not yet commented.