Afghan forces battled to cease a primary main metropolis from falling to the Taliban as america and the UK accused the group of “massacring civilians” in a Kandahar city they not too long ago captured close to the Pakistan border.
“The Taliban massacred dozens of civilians in revenge killings. These murders may represent struggle crimes,” the embassies of Washington and London stated in separate tweets on Monday concerning the alleged atrocities dedicated in Spin Boldak.
“The Taliban’s management should be held liable for the crimes of their fighters. In case you can’t management your fighters now, you don’t have any enterprise in governance later.”
Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban negotiating workforce member based mostly in Doha, advised Reuters information company that tweets containing the accusations have been “baseless studies”.
The US and UK diplomatic condemnations come after Afghanistan’s Impartial Human Rights Fee additionally stated Taliban fighters had indulged in revenge killings in Spin Boldak.
“After taking on Spin Boldak district, the Taliban chased and recognized previous and current authorities officers and killed these individuals who had no fight function within the battle,” the group stated, including a minimum of 40 folks had been killed by the Taliban.
In the meantime, Taliban fighters continued to assault a minimum of three provincial capitals – Lashkar Gah, Kandahar and Herat – after a weekend of heavy preventing that noticed hundreds of civilians flee.
The struggle has intensified since early Could, with the Taliban capitalising on the ultimate phases of the withdrawal of the US-led international forces after virtually 20 years within the nation.
Combating continued within the southern Afghan metropolis of Lashkar Gah in a single day as Afghan forces beat again a contemporary assault from the Taliban.
“Afghan forces on the bottom and by air strikes repelled the assault,” the navy in Helmand stated.
Resident Hawa Malalai advised the AFP information company that there was a rising disaster within the metropolis: “There may be preventing, energy cuts, sick folks in hospital, the telecommunication networks are down. There are not any medicines and pharmacies are closed.”
Medical charity Docs With out Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) stated casualties have been mounting in Lashkar Gah.
“There was relentless gunfire, air strikes and mortars in densely populated areas. Homes are being bombed, and many individuals are struggling extreme accidents,” stated Sarah Leahy, the help group’s coordinator for Helmand, in an announcement.
Helmand for years was the centrepiece of the US and British navy marketing campaign in Afghanistan – just for it to slide deeper into instability.
The lack of Lashkar Gah can be an enormous strategic and psychological blow for the federal government, which has pledged to defend provincial capitals in any respect prices after shedding a lot of the countryside to the Taliban over the summer season.
Combating additionally surged in some districts of Kandahar province, the previous bastion of the Taliban, and on the outskirts of its capital.
Within the west, tons of of commandos have been additionally defending Herat after days of fierce preventing.
Kabul has repeatedly dismissed the Taliban’s regular beneficial properties over the summer season as missing strategic worth, however has largely didn’t reverse their momentum.
The seize of any vital metropolis by the Taliban would take their present offensive to a different stage and gas issues in regards to the capacity of the Afghan navy.
The Taliban has seized Afghan cities prior to now however has retained them solely briefly.
Ghani blames US
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani blamed the country’s deteriorating security on the US deciding “abruptly” to withdraw its troops.
Presenting his safety plan earlier than parliament on Monday, Ghani stated the state of affairs within the war-torn nation shall be “below management inside six months”, including that the US has pledged its full help.
“The explanation for our present state of affairs is that the choice was taken abruptly,” he advised parliament, including he had warned Washington the withdrawal would have “penalties”.
The president added that “safety of the folks” is an obligation he’ll preserve.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Kabul, stated whereas Ghani was addressing the safety issues within the nation, he was “not likely speaking about options”, inflicting concern amongst members of the worldwide group.
“We’ve got not heard an in depth plan … I’ve spoken to many members of the worldwide group and diplomats right here [Kabul], who’re involved,” Bays stated.
“They consider the president actually does must set out a plan – not solely a plan to be able to execute it, to resolve the navy issues on the bottom, but in addition as a result of they are saying the Afghan folks want to listen to that he has a plan as a result of morale is slumping,” he stated.
In the meantime, the US stated it can take in thousands of more Afghan refugees as violence surged throughout the nation.
“In mild of elevated ranges of Taliban violence, the US authorities is working to offer sure Afghans, together with those that labored with america, the chance for refugee resettlement,” the State Division stated in an announcement on Monday.
These will embrace present and former workers of the US-based information organisations, US-based support and improvement companies and different aid teams that obtain US funding.
Present and former workers of the US authorities and the NATO navy operation who don’t meet the factors for a devoted programme for such employees are additionally coated.
Washington has already started evacuating hundreds of interpreters and their households who labored with the navy and embassy over the previous 20 years.