Afghan forces plan counteroffensive

Afghan government forces are prepared to launch a counteroffensive against the Taliban, according to a spokesman for the northern province of Takhar, on Monday (July 5) after the Taliban attempted to seize Takhar’s capital city, Taleqan, a day earlier.

Violence has escalated in Afghanistan in recent weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden announced troops would withdraw unconditionally by early September on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

On Monday soldiers were seen guarding Taleqan’s Western gate, while armed civilians patrolled the streets.

Hamed Mobarez is a spokesperson for Takhar’s governor.

“The Taliban tried to break the city’s defense line and enter Taleqan’s western gate, but they faced strong resistance from our defense and security forces. Our forces were able to defend the western gate of the city with high morale and patriotism.”

The Taliban has seized most districts in the province in their attempt to reach the capital city.

One government official from the neighboring Badakhshan province told Reuters the Taliban has also recently captured 26 of its 28 districts, which border Tajikistan and China.

Tajikistan accepted over 1,000 Afghan military members fleeing violence over the weekend, and bolstered their own border protections in anticipation of Taliban encroachment.

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