July 14, 2024


Imagination at work

Taliban Commander Who Led Attack on Afghan City Was Released From Prison Last Year, Officials Say

KABUL—The Taliban commander overseeing an assault on the essential southern metropolis of Lashkargah is just one of five,000 former prisoners unveiled by the Afghan governing administration final year beneath pressure from the U.S., Afghan and Western officials say.

The commander, Mawlavi Talib, is just one of 1000’s of former prisoners freed to even further peace talks who have returned to the battlefield to sign up for the Taliban onslaught in opposition to metropolitan areas around the region, Afghan officials say. The presence of the Taliban fighters is a fresh new strain in relations among Washington and Kabul, as the U.S.-backed governing administration struggles to fend off Taliban assaults throughout the region.

Afghan officials explained intense battling ongoing Tuesday in Lashkargah, the provincial funds of Helmand province, right after significant U.S. airstrikes and a counterattack by U.S.-qualified Afghan commandos right away. Underneath Mr. Talib’s command, hundreds of Taliban have pushed towards the metropolis center in excess of the past 7 days. On Tuesday they introduced an assault on Lashkargah’s jail in a bid to launch much more inmates and recruit them into the battle.

The battling in Lashkargah is aspect of a broader countrywide Taliban offensive that had captured half of the country’s remote districts by final thirty day period and now threatens provincial capitals. On Tuesday, the governing administration explained that its commandos introduced a counterattack in the western metropolis of Herat, whose defenses have been teetering. Taliban forces final thirty day period pierced defenses in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second major metropolis, but governing administration forces are holding continuous there.

Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry explained Tuesday its forces killed around 375 Taliban and wounded 193 in battling across the region in the final 24 hrs. Eleven improvised explosive units have been discovered and defused, the ministry explained. The Afghan governing administration has stopped releasing stats on its very own armed service casualties to keep away from demoralizing its troops.