Taliban take over Kandahar radio station, weapon seizures ‘massive boon’ - GulfToday

Taliban take over Kandahar radio station, weapon seizures ‘massive boon’ for insurgents


Taliban patrol inside the city of Ghazni as they overrun four more provincial capitals, gradually encircling Kabul. AP

Gulf Today Report

After capturing much of southern Afghanistan, in a rapid offensive the Taliban seized a radio station in Kandahar and took to the airwaves on Saturday.

The United States spent billions supplying the Afghan military with the tools against insurgents, but the rapid capitulation of the armed forces means that weaponry is now fuelling the insurgents' astonishing battlefield successes.


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Homa Ahmadi, a lawmaker form Logar, says that Taliban control the entire province, including its capital, and reached a district in the neighbouring Kabul province on Saturday.

That puts the insurgents less than 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the nation’s capital. The Taliban have also captured much of northern, western and southern Afghanistan less than three weeks before the United States is set to withdraw its last troops.

It has raised fears of a full takeover less than three weeks before the US is set to withdraw its last troops.

The Taliban have captured much of northern, western and southern Afghanistan in recent weeks, leaving the Western-backed government in control of a smattering of provinces in the centre and east, along with the capital, Kabul, and the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Ghazni, southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan.

"We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools — let me emphasise: all the tools,” US President Joe Biden said when defending his decision to withdraw American forces and leave the fight to the locals.

But Afghan defence forces have shown little appetite for that fight and, in their tens of thousands, have been laying down their arms — only for the Taliban to immediately pick them up.

The withdrawal of foreign forces and the swift retreat of Afghanistan's own troops — despite hundreds of billions of dollars in US aid over the years — has raised fears the Taliban could return to power or the country could be plunged into civil war.

The first Marines from a contingent of 3,000 arrived on Friday to help partially evacuate the US embassy. The rest are set to arrive by Sunday, and their deployment has raised questions about whether the administration will meet its Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

Internally displaced Afghans from northern provinces take refuge in a public park in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP

US embassy staff were ordered to begin shredding and burning sensitive material, as units from a planned re-deployment of 3,000 American troops started arriving to secure the airport and oversee the evacuations.

A host of European countries — including Britain, Germany, Denmark and Spain — all announced the withdrawal of personnel from their respective embassies on Friday.

For Kabul residents and the tens of thousands who have sought refuge there in recent weeks, the overwhelming mood was one of confusion and fear of what lay

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