Russia to conduct military drills near Afghan border as Taliban continues onslaught in Afghanistan

WION Web Team
Afghanistan Updated: Jul 19, 2021, 06:20 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

As talks in Doha failed to produce a ceasefire agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban, Russia declared it will hold military drills with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan near the Afghan border.

NATO nations including 15 diplomatic missions have urged the Taliban to stop military operations in Afghanistan as the militant group failed to reach a ceasefire agreement in Doha.

Taliban said on Monday it had captured the Dehrawood district in Uruzgan province after clashes with Afghan forces 

"The Taliban's offensive is in direct contradiction to their claim to support a negotiated settlement," the statement by diplomatic missions consisting of EU, US, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany among other nations said.


"It has resulted in the loss of innocent Afghan lives, including through continued targeted killings, displacement of the civilian population, looting and burning of buildings, destruction of vital infrastructure, and damage to communication networks," the statement added.

The government forces had recaptured Dara-e-Sof Bala district in northern Samangan with casualties suffered by the Taliban with clashes reportedly underway.

Amid the fighting, President Ashraf Ghani visited Herat province on Monday where the Taliban has captured several districts.

The Taliban has escalated its campaign since mid-May and engaged in heavy fighting with government troops in the past month as US President Joe Biden announced the last American troops will pull out from the region by August 31. 

Meanwhile, Russia's defence ministry said it will stage military drills next month with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan near the border with Afghanistan.

The joint drills with will take place from August 5-10 at the Kharbmaidon training ground in Tajikistan near the Afghan border. Hundreds of Afghan forces had earlier poured into Tajikistan as the Taliban captured main checkpoints along the area.

Reports claimed last week that several Afghan refugees which included women and children had also crossed over to Tajikistan amid heavy fighting between Afghan and Taliban forces in the area.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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