Printed on Thu Sep 29 2022 8:26:36 PM

Taliban seized another key Afghan border crossing with Iran

International desk
Afghan border
This time the Taliban seized another key Afghan border crossing with Iran on Thursday, according to an Afghan official and Iranian media. The seizure is part of a Taliban surge as American troops complete their pullout from Afghanistan.

It was the third border crossing the insurgents have taken in the past week, after previously seizing crossings with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The development came as President Joe Biden said the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31.

The Taliban wins have caused some countries to close their consulates in the region, while Tajikistan has called up reservists to reinforce that country’s southern border with Afghanistan.

An Afghan official said the Taliban took control the Islam Qala crossing point in western Herat province on Thursday. The official, who is in Herat, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information to reporters.

Afghan soldiers in the border area of Islam Qala — a major transit route between Afghanistan and Iran — fled from their positions, crossing into Iran for refuge, Iranian media reported. The crossing is around 75 miles west of the city of Herat, the provincial capital.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirm the taking of Islam Qala and said that Taliban fighters entered the Islam Qala town itself, and were greeted warmly by the local residents. Mujahid also posted a video purporting to show Taliban riding on the back of trucks in Islam Qala and shooting off into the air in celebration as a crowd of men cheered on.

Afghanistan has seen a Taliban surge as the American and NATO pullout stepped up over the past few months. The U.S. Central Command said on Tuesday that 90% of the withdrawal of U.S. troops and equipment from Afghanistan is complete. The U.S. says the last troops will be gone by August.

Voice TV/IA
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