Ever since the formal withdrawal of US from Afghanistan, Taliban fighters have further tightened their control over territories in Afghanistan.
On Sunday, Taliban captured Kunduz, its third capture in the last week. Having taken over six capitals, Taliban are moving to capture Mazar-i-Sharif, the biggest city in the north.
Taliban forces now control 65% of Afghan territory, are threatening to take 11 provincial capitals and are trying to deprive the national capital Kabul of its traditional support from national forces in the north, a senior EU official said on Tuesday.
‘Make immediate arrangements to return to India’,
India on Tuesday advised its citizens in violence-hit Afghanistan to make immediate travel arrangements to return home before commercial air services are discontinued.
“All Indian nationals visiting, staying and working in Afghanistan are strongly advised to keep themselves updated on the availability of commercial flights and make immediate arrangements to return to India before air services are discontinued,” said a statement released by the Indian embassy in Afghanistan.
Special flight from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi today.
The government on Tuesday appealed to all Indian nationals living in and around Afghanistan’s Mazar-e-Sharif to leave for India.
A special flight is leaving from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi. Any Indian nationals in and around Mazar-e-Sharif are requested to leave for India in the special flight scheduled to depart late today evening, the Indian Consulate General of India, Mazar-e-Sharif said in a Twitter post.
“Indian citizens desiring to leave by special flight should immediately convey their full name, passport number, date of expiry by Whatsapp at the following numbers: 0785891303, 0785891301,” it further said.
Earlier in July, India had evacuated all its India-based personnel from Kandahar by special flight.
Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan hold joint military drill near Afghan border
Soldiers from Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan used new Russian firearms, flamethrowers and surface-to-air missile launchers in military drills which concluded on Tuesday just 20 km (12 miles) from the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border.
Moscow and its Central Asian ex-Soviet allies have held two separate sets of military exercises close to Afghanistan this month as Taliban militants overran much of the country’s northern provinces directly adjacent to Central Asia.
The drills involved 2,500 servicemen, hundreds of armoured vehicles and 25 aircraft. The Russian forces involved came from the military base located in Tajikistan – Moscow’s biggest facility abroad.
Afghan forces kill 80 Taliban terrorists, repel Mazar-i-Sharif
The Afghan armed forces said on Tuesday that they have repulsed a Taliban offensive in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of the northern Balkh province, with over 80 militants killed in the operation, reported news agency ANI.
The Taliban attack was aimed at breaking the Pul-e-Imam Bukhari defense line in the Dihdadi district and capturing a stronghold in the Nahr-e Shahi district, the Afghan military said. Over 80 Taliban militants were killed in the fighting, with one hideout and a large cache of weapons and ammunition destroyed.
Six countries urge EU to continue Afghan deportations
Six EU countries have called on the European Commission not to halt the deportation of Afghan migrants despite an accelerating Taliban advance, officials said on Tuesday.
The governments of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and the Netherlands wrote to the EU’s executive arm saying they should be allowed to send Afghan migrants back if their asylum bids fail.
“In a letter I have asked the Commission, together with Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Greece, to continue to guarantee the forced return of certain Afghans,” Belgian asylum and migration minister Sammy Mahdi said.
“Just because regions of a country are dangerous doesn’t mean that every person from that country has the right to protection,” he said on Twitter. ( TOI )