Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents advanced to the gates of a northern province on Sunday and seized several districts after mounting attacks across the country at the weekend.
The Taliban were fighting on edges of Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan province, after seven of its districts fell to the militants, witnesses told The National.We were forced to leave our homes yesterday. Taliban have taken over the district and there is still fighting ongoing. We were also caught in the crossfireJawad, Afghan farmer
“We have received many severely injured security officials as well as civilians with minor injuries in the clinics in the last 48 hours,” said Dr Abdul Qadir Kiskin, a doctor in Faizabad.
Foreign troops withdrew from their main Afghan base on Friday.
“The situation is very bad in Faizabad; they [Taliban] are near the gates already,” said Mohammad Aman, 32, a development professional working with an international NGO.
He said he was speaking from Faizabad’s airport, where he was waiting to board a UN-chartered flight out of the city.
“Most of the officials and parliamentarians have already escaped,” he said. “We are trying to leave too.”
A video circulating on Afghan social media showed a group boarding an aircraft in Faizabad as a voice criticises local officials for abandoning their people.
“Friends! The people you are seeing are the provincial council members. They are all MPs, commanders, politicians, scholars, directors and civil servants, who are running away. They are all fleeing, leaving Badakhshan in the hands of whom?” a man’s voice is heard to say.
“Why are you leaving the people? Where are you going? Isn’t your home here?” he shouts as people board the plane.
The Badakhshan governor, Ahmad Bashir Samim, issued a statement on social media in which he denied that officials had abandoned the province. He said that those who left were going to Kabul for medical treatment or on personal matters.
Read full report on The National