Afghanistan: Night curfew imposed to curb Taliban advance

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 24, 2021, 06:18 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Taliban's offensive has continued after a brief lull on Eid holidays. The authorities have claimed to have killed 260 insurgents in past 24 hours

Afghan authorities imposed a night curfew across 31 of country's 34 provinces in order to curb increasing violence due to the Taliban offensive.

The Taliban, who have mounted major offensives across the country have taken control of large swathes of land in the country. The insurgents have also captured key border crossings with the neighbouring countries. They have also encircled several provincial capitals.

"To curb violence and limit the Taliban movements a night curfew has been imposed in 31 provinces across the country," except in Kabul, Panjshir and Nangarhar, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Curfew will be effective from 10 pm to 4 am local time.

With the withdrawal of American-led foreign forces all but complete, the resurgent Taliban now controls about half of Afghanistan's roughly 400 districts.

There was a brief lull in violence during Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha but fighting continued again. The authorities claim that they have killed more than 260 Taliban fighters in the past 24 hours across several provinces.

Both the authorities and the Taliban exaggerate their claims which cannot be independently verified.
As the fighting raged in recent weeks, the US military was forced to carry out air strikes "to support" Afghan troops to repel Taliban offensives even as its overall withdrawal continues, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday.

Experts say a lack of regular US air support since May to Afghan forces on the ground is a key factor in government troops losing lot of territory to the Taliban.

Late on Friday, the Taliban warned the US military against carrying out air strikes.

"It is a clear violation of the signed agreement that will have consequences," the Taliban said in a statement, referring to a landmark deal between Washington and the insurgents last year that paved the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces.

The Taliban also warned the Afghan government against launching any offensive, saying the group will "strongly defend their territories and not remain in a defensive posture if the enemy insists upon war".

The Taliban had said earlier this week that its fighters were in a "defensive" posture to mark the Eid al-Adha holidays that ended on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff General Mark Milley said the Taliban appear to have "strategic momentum" on the battlefield.

With the militants putting pressure on around half of the country's provincial capitals, Afghan troops are in the process of "consolidating their forces" to protect those major urban centres, Milley added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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