These provincial capitals in Afghanistan are now under Taliban control
- On Thursday, the US embassy in Kabul said they were hearing reports of the Taliban executing the surrendering Afghan troops, adding it “could constitute war crimes.”
The Taliban has captured 15 provincial capitals in Afghanistan in a lightning push as the US-led foreign troops finalise their withdrawal. The insurgents have taken control of another three provincial capitals in southern Afghanistan, including Helmand's Lashkar Gah, amid their quest to capture Kabul, Afghanistan’s national capital, in the coming days.
The negotiators representing the Afghan government for the peace talks in Qatar reportedly offered a power-sharing deal to end violence in the war-torn country but the Taliban has continued its offensive against security forces and civilians. Several reports highlighting the atrocities on civilians by the Taliban have emerged.
On Thursday, the US embassy in Kabul said they were hearing reports of the execution of surrendering Afghan troops, adding it “could constitute war crimes.” The embassy criticised the escalating violence perpetrated by the insurgents, urging them not to erase Afghanistan’s “human rights gains of the last 20 years.”
“The Taliban’s statements in Doha do not resemble their actions in Badakhshan, Ghazni, Helmand & Kandahar. Attempts to monopolize power through violence, fear, & war will only lead to international isolation,” tweeted Ross Wilson, Chargé d'Affaires to Afghanistan.
Amid the deteriorating security situation, many countries have issued advisories asking their citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately.
Here’s the list of provincial capitals now under Taliban control:
- Lashkar Gah
- Feruz Koh
- Qala-e Naw
Meanwhile, India has joined Germany, Qatar, and Turkey in calling for an immediate cessation of violence in provincial capitals and other cities. In a statement issued by Qatar Thursday, the participants agreed on the need to accelerate the peace process to reach a political settlement. They reaffirmed that they will not recognize any government in Afghanistan that is imposed through the use of military force.
(With inputs from agencies)