I do not regret my decision, says Biden as two more cities fall to Taliban in Afghanistan

WION Web Team
Kabul Published: Aug 11, 2021, 07:10 AM(IST)

President Biden | Afghan troops Photograph:( AFP )

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Taliban's advance in Afghanistan continued as India on Tuesday sent a special flight to the country to pull out diplomats and Indian nationals as the militant group headed towards the country's second-biggest city Mazar-i-Sharif.

Taliban continues its surge across Afghanistan with the capture of two more provincial cities with a total of eight provinces seized in the last couple of days.

Amid the Taliban advance, US President Biden said he did regret his decision to pull US troops out of the region as the militants took Farah city and Pul-e-Khumri in Baghlan.

"I do not regret my decision," the US President said.

President Biden had announced last month that all US troops will be out of Afghanistan by August 31 which is now just weeks away even as the Taliban continues its sweep through the country.

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The militant group had said earlier that its men were now headed towards the country's second-biggest city Mazar-i-Sharif. The Indian government sent a special flight to Maza-i-Sharif on Tuesday to evacuate diplomats and Indian nations.  

At least  1500 Indian nationals are currently involved in various development projects in Afghanistan. Reports say Taliban fighters are closing in on Aibak, a provincial capital between Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul.

"Afghan leaders have to come together, they have got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation," US President Biden said.

The US president added that the country had spent over $1 trillion since September 2001 and lost thousands of troops during its fight against the Taliban and to restore the country.

Taliban had begun its offensive in mid-May and have annexed several strategic border crossings along the Pakistan, Iran and Tajikistan border as US troops pull out of the region.

Although the US has been carrying out airstrikes along with Afghan pilots but it is unclear whether it would continue beyond August 31.

Meanwhile, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the Taliban's recent offensive which involved "deeply disturbing reports" of executions could amount to war crimes, adding, "People rightly fear that a seizure of power by the Taliban will erase the human rights gains of the past two decades.”

(With inputs from Agencies)

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