At least 27 children have been killed and 136 injured in three provinces of Afghanistan in the last three days, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported on Monday.
UNICEF is shocked by the sharp escalation of violence against children in Afghanistan, said UNICEF Afghanistan representative Herve Ludovic De Lys. “The atrocities increase day by day,” he added. According to UN agencies, such events took place in the provinces of Kandahar, Khost and Paktija.
On Sunday, Kunduz, the eighth largest city in Afghanistan and an important trading center, and Sar-e-Pol in the north were captured by the Taliban. On the same day, the Taliban seized the city of Talokan, the main center of Tachar Province in the northeast of Afghanistan. These are the next provincial capitals that have been captured by the Taliban’s efforts to take control of the entire country.
More capitals of Afghan regions are under threat
As the BBC points out, the next capitals of regions that can potentially be captured by the Taliban are: Herat in the west, and Lashkargah in southwestern Afghanistan, which is the capital of the Helmand province and Kandahar in the province of the same name.
The agencies point out that the specter of a return to power in Afghanistan by the Taliban who ruled there from 1996 to the end of 2001, imposing a strict version of Islam, is worrying both for the people of the country and the international community.
Pentagon: The situation in Afghanistan is going wrong
The situation in Afghanistan is going in the wrong direction, said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby after the Taliban occupied six Afghan provinces. US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Peace Negotiations, Zalmay Khalilzad, traveled to Doha on Monday. “During a series of meetings scheduled for the next three days, Khalilzad, thanks to the efforts of which the Taliban-US accord was concluded in February 2020, will try to convince his interlocutors to limit violence, conclude a truce and recognize as an iron rule that imposed power will not will be recognized, “the State Department said on Monday. Americans hope that the Taliban will stop the military offensive and start looking for political solutions, writes Reuters in a comment.
“We are concerned about this trend,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Monday. – The more so because the Afghan forces have the potential to fight the fighters – he stressed. – They have their armed units, they have people who could stand up for these cities, they control most of the regional capitals. This is more of a question of the leadership that they would like to see emerged there, added a Pentagon spokesman. Territorial gains give wings to the Taliban who believe they will soon take control of the entire country. A Taliban spokesman told Al-Jazeera on Sunday that there is no agreement with the Kabul government on a ceasefire. He also warned the United States against planning another military intervention in Afghanistan.
Main photo source: AKHTER GULFAM / PAP / EPA