“What I am scared of is the Taliban.” Such statements have been reverberating in Afghanistan since the Taliban is in the ascendency in the country.
There has been a surge in violence especially in Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar as the Taliban terrorists seek to seize them from government forces. The Talibani terrorists, in heavy fighting on Saturday in Lashkar Gah, were reportedly just a few hundred meters from the governor’s office when they were pushed back.
A massive attack was launched in Kandahar with the terrorist outfit surrounding the city from all sides. Flights at Kandahar airport had to be suspended on Sunday after Taliban rockets struck down the complex damaging the runway. Afghan forces have been deployed in the economically important city of Herat to stabilize the situation.
As many as 300 Talibani terrorists have been killed and hundreds wounded in operations by Afghanistani security forces in different provinces since Saturday. “254 Taliban terrorists were killed and 97 wounded as a result of ANDSF (Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces) operations in Ghazni, Kandahar, Herat, Farah, Jowzjan, Balkh, Samangan, Helmand, Takhar, Kunduz, Baghlan, Kabul & Kapisa provinces during the last 24 hours. Also, 13 IEDs were discovered & defused by #ANA,” tweeted the Afganistan defense ministry on Sunday.
Over 3 lakh Afghanis displaced
As per a New York Times report, as many as 330,000 Afghans have been displaced and at least 30,000 flee their homes every week to escape the Taliban rule.
While some have crowded the makeshift tent camps or relatives’ homes in cities, thousands are trying to secure passports and visas to leave the country altogether. Some have even risked cramming into smugglers’ pickup trucks to illegally cross the borders.
According to the United Nations, the number of Afghans crossing the border illegally has shot up around 30 to 40 percent. In March, around 200 cars left each day from Zaranj for the Iranian border. By early July, the number had peaked to 450 cars each day.
Terrified of Taliban rule
One Mr Sakhi had fled Afghanistan 20 years ago after he saw the Talibani terrorists dragging a young woman from her home and lashing her on the sidewalk. Though returned a decade later, Sakhi is once again trying to flee the country.
“I’m not scared of leaving belongings behind, I’m not scared of starting everything from scratch. What I’m scared of is the Taliban,” said Sakhi who recently. applied for Turkish visas for himself, his wife, their three daughters and one son.
Abdullah a taxi driver said, “I need to get a passport and get the hell out of this country. Trying to leave legally is costly, and if we go illegally it is dangerous. But right now the country is even more dangerous.”
Another Afghani who is trying to illegally enter Iran said, “We don’t have any money or means of getting a visa. We cannot find another way out.”
One Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi had to borrow $1,000 to bring 36 of his relatives to Kabul after the Taliban attacked his village in Malistan district.
US airlifts Afghans who worked for them
With around 20,000 Special Immigration Visa applications stuck in bureaucratic knots, around 200 translators were airlifted last week in “Operation Allies Refuge”.
President Joe Biden in a statement said, “These arrivals are just the first of many as we work quickly to relocate SIV-eligible Afghans out of harm’s way — to the United States, to U.S. facilities abroad, or to third countries — so that they can wait in safety while they finish their visa applications.”
This comes after the US faced criticism for abandoning the Afghans who worked for them in Afghanistan. As many as 50,000 or more people ultimately could be evacuated in the ongoing operation, said the Reuters report.
Taliban entering houses making the situation difficult
According to the Afghan forces’ members, Taliban terrorists have entered houses of civilians in some locations, which has made the situation more difficult. “The Taliban entering the house of people makes it much more difficult for us, we have to be so much more careful,” one said.
In the last few weeks, the terrorist organization Taliban is using heavy forces to gain control of the major portion of Afghanistan. While the US has announced they would leave the nation by September, the future of the war-hit country hangs in mid-air as terrorists are gaining control over the city after city.