In Afghanistan, the Taliban offensive has resulted in a massive humanitarian disaster. In the last two months, the resurgent Taliban have gained more territory in Afghanistan than at any time since they were ousted from power in 2001.
According to reports, the escalation of the war in the last two months has displaced over 60,000 households across war-torn Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. At least 17,000 families have sought refuge in Kabul, the Afghan capital, which is also under siege by Sunni Pashtun rebels.
The incredible speed at which the Taliban has been grabbing large swaths of land in Afghanistan since the US and NATO forces announced their withdrawal from the war-torn country after 20 years of presence, raises concerns about how long the Afghan government will be able to hold control of the remaining areas of the country. According to reports, nine provincial capitals and three towns have been captured by the terrorist group on Tuesday alone.
According to Reuters, US intelligence analysis says that at this rate, Taliban militants could isolate Afghanistan’s capital in 30 days and possibly take it completely over in the coming 90 days.
Islamist groups currently control around two-thirds of Afghanistan, with 11 provincial capitals under their control or on the verge of doing so. As the Taliban capture more areas, imposing Islamic Sharia law and executing opponents, civilians from those areas are rushing to the capital.
The military base in Afghanistan’s Kunduz has been captured by the terrorists as hundreds of Afghan forces which had been holding out for days at the military base, surrendered before the Talibanis and handed over all their vehicles and equipment to them, most of them given by the Americans. “There was no way to fight back. My unit, with 20 soldiers, three humvees and four pick-up trucks just surrendered,” an army officer in Kunduz was quoted by Agence France-Presse (AFP) as saying on the condition of anonymity.
A Mi-35 attack helicopter gifted by India to the Afghan forces, parked at the airport, also came under the control of the Taliban after it captured the Kunduz airport.
Police headquarters in a provincial capital in southern Afghanistan were also taken control of by the Jihadists on August 12. The Taliban has been setting fire to people’s properties to create chaos and panic in cities. They have also been waging an assassination campaign targeting senior government officials.
In the latest killing of a government official just days after an assassination attempt on the country’s acting defence minister, the Taliban ambushed and killed the director of Afghanistan’s government media centre on Friday in the capital, Kabul.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told The Associated Press that the Islamists killed Dawa Khan Menapal, the chief of the Afghan government’s press operations for local and foreign media. He had previously been a deputy spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Taliban brutalises, tortures, kills Afghan women
While the militant group continue to capture large swathes of war-torn Afghanistan, the barbarity being executed by these Islamists fundamentalists on the innocent civilians of the country is far more troubling. With no regard for human rights violations, the radical Islamists have unabashedly massacred dozens of civilians in revenge killings. Not only are the Afghan women being brutalised, but innocent children are also not being spared.
Taliban terrorists going door-to-door to forcibly ‘marry’ girls as young as 12
On August 12, OpIndia reported how the radical Islamic terrorists have been going door-to-door to forcibly ‘marry’ girls as young as 12 and forcing them into sex slavery.
The Taliban commanders, after capturing some of the provincial capitals, have ordered local Imams to bring the lists of unmarried women aged from 12 to 45 for their soldiers to marry as they view them as ‘qhanimat’ or ‘spoils of war’. The Taliban intends to “distribute ” these kids and women among themselves as Jihadists consider them as a ‘prize’.
On the orders of Taliban commanders, the Taliban terrorists are now going to each house to claim their ‘prizes’. The Jihadists are reportedly entering Afghan homes to check through the wardrobes of families to verify the ages of girls before forcibly dragging them to be their sex slaves.
Moreover, the Talibanis have enforced strict sharia law in the areas that they have captured. The Jihadists have barred women from going to school, working, or leaving their homes without permission from the local commanders.
Last month, there were reports that the Taliban terrorists had issued similar orders to imams and tribal elders to prepare lists of all women aged 15 to 45 who were unmarried or widowed so they could be married to their fighters.
Civilians being targeted
In yet a brutal display of savagery, a 21-year-old girl was shot dead by Taliban terrorists for not wearing a veil in Afghanistan on August 6 (Friday).
On August 4, the United Nations informed that at least 40 civilians were killed in 24 hours as Talibanis continued its mayhem in Lashkargah in Helmand province. On the same day, the militants killed at least eight Afghan citizens and injured at least 20 in a car blast outside Afghanistan’s Defence Minister’s residence in Kabul.
On August 3, the Taliban terrorists dragged six Hazara citizens out of a vehicle in the eastern part of Firoz Koh city along the Ghor to Kabul highway and abducted them. The know-how of the abducted civilians is not known yet. Furthermore, a woman was taken down from a car on the Badghis-Herat highway on the same day and shot dead by the Taliban for working for women’s rights and not covering herself in a veil.
Many other such instances of atrocities inflicted on civilians, especially women and children have been Tweeted by Twitter handle War Crimes in Afghanistan.
In addition to strict diktats to women, the terrorists had also issued a ban on smoking and have warned that anybody violating the rules “will be seriously dealt with”.
While the jihadists have continued to brutalise women, they have also been unsparing towards the children in the country. On August 10, Wion News reported how at least 27 Afghan children were killed in merely 72 hours.
Historian Abdullah Atefi tortured and execute by Taliban terrorists in Chora, Uruzgan
The ongoing storm of atrocities inflicted by the Talibani militants had taken the life of Abdullah Atefi, a noted Afghan poet and historian, who was brutally killed by the Taliban on August 4. A number of prominent voices in the region had condemned the murder, stating that Atefi’s murder shows that the Taliban is against education and awareness. Atefi was reportedly educating Pashtun young men and was playing a crucial role in deviating them from violence.
Comedian Nazar Mohammad dragged out of his house and killed
In yet another such instance, popular comedian Nazar Mohammad aka Khasha was kidnapped and slapped by the Taliban before being mercilessly executed.
The entertainer who belonged to the Kandahar province was dragged from his home and killed by the Taliban. As per reports, the terrorists were going door-to-door searching for government workers in the province.
They nabbed Khasha, tied him on a tree and slit his throat. The comedian who had served as local police was found lying on the ground with his throat slit.
TV and radio stations in Afghanistan captured to propagate the ‘Voice of Shariah’
Continuing its military offensive, the Taliban had also taken over as many as 4 television and 11 radio stations in the city. These stations had stopped broadcasting after receiving threats from the Taliban. Only one Islamic TV station was kept operational by the militants for propagating the Taliban’s Voice of Shariah.
Taliban terrorists using civilians as shields
It is also being reported that the Taliban terrorists are hiding in civilian homes and using them as shields. Because of this many ordinary civilians are having to bear the brunt of the Afghan officials. Many such houses where officials suspect the Taliban terrorist might be hiding have been bombed in the past few days.
Danish Siddiqui’s body mutilated by Taliban militants
Danish Siddiqui, who was on an assignment in the war-torn country, travelled with the Afghan National Forces to the Spin Boldak region to cover the clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban, was killed in cold-blood by the terrorist group after verifying his identity.
Days after Siddiqui’s murder on the morning of July 16, contradicting reports had emerged in the media. However, an Afghan official confirmed that Siddique was indeed captured and executed by the Taliban. OpIndia has detailed the barbarity meted out at the Indian origin journalist by the radical Islamists.
“No regrets”, US President Joe Biden rules out changes in troop withdrawal plan
Despite the Taliban gaining large swathes of the country, US President Joe Biden on Tuesday ruled out any change in the withdrawal of his troops from Afghanistan. President Biden has ordered the evacuation of all US forces from Afghanistan latest by September 11, 2020. According to the Pentagon, more than 90 per cent of its personnel have already left the war-torn country.
“No,” Biden had told reporters at the White House when he was asked whether he could reconsider his decision to withdraw the American troops from Afghanistan. “Look, we spent over a trillion dollars over 20 years. We trained and equipped over 300,000 Afghan forces. Afghan leaders have to come together. We lost thousands- lost to death and injury- thousands of American personnel. They’ve got to fight for themselves, fight for their nation,” he said, Affirming that he does not regret his decision, which would remain unchanged.
Afghanistan raises concerns over Taliban’s military offensive at ‘extended Troika’ meeting
Meanwhile, the Afghan government has expressed concerns with the international community over the Taliban’s rising offensive which has led to war crimes and gross human right violation in Afghanistan.
The Afghan negotiating team led by the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Dr Abdullah, asserted at the extended Troika meeting held on Wednesday, that there is a pressing need to begin serious and earnest talks with the Taliban in order to establish an immediate ceasefire and reach a political agreement.