The Taliban, Wednesday, had captured the strategic border crossing of Spin Boldak along the frontier with Pakistan, continuing sweeping gains made since foreign forces stepped up their withdrawal.
“The (Taliban) Mujahideen have captured an important border town called Wesh in Kandahar,” Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said in a statement.
“With this, the important road between (Spin) Boldak and Chaman and Kandahar customs have come under Mujahideen control.”
A Pakistan security source confirmed the insurgents had taken control of the crossing. The Afghan defense ministry said it was checking developments.
“The Taliban has taken control of the Afghan side of the Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing,” the Pakistani security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“They have raised their flag and removed the Afghan flag.”
However, the Taliban have denied such claims.
— Arab News Pakistan (@arabnewspk) July 14, 2021
The Taliban have launched a widespread offensive across the countryside since early May when US-led foreign forces began their final withdrawal of troops.
Since then, the insurgents have captured at least three other crossings along the borders with Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran.
Taliban claim to have captured the Spin Boldak crossing with Pakistan, on the Afghan side, in the videos circulated, the Taliban local commanders can be seen giving assurances to locals to not to worry – Second border area with Pakistan that has been captured by Taliban.
— Anas Mallick (@AnasMallick) July 14, 2021
Taliban surround Afghan city
Earlier this month, Taliban fighters on motorbikes surrounded a provincial Afghan capital in their most brazen assault since the United States stepped up its troop withdrawal.
The government flew in hundreds of commandos to Qala-i-Naw in Badghis, the first provincial capital to face an all-out assault by the Taliban since May 1 when the insurgents launched a blistering campaign to capture new territory.
With the US troop pullout “90 percent complete”, according to the Pentagon, fears are mounting that Afghan forces will be stretched without the vital air support of the US military.
Residents in Qala-i-Naw had either fled the city or stayed indoors after more than 24 hours of intense fighting that saw the Afghan air force launch strikes on Taliban positions.
AFP with additional input by GVS