Taliban capture first Afghan provincial capital in blow to government

7/8/2021 12:09:00 AM

Taliban capture first Afghan provincial capital in blow to government

Taliban capture first Afghan provincial capital in blow to government

KABUL: The Taliban on Friday (Aug 6) captured their first provincial capital since launching an offensive to coincide with the departure of foreign troops, a major blow to an Afghan government desperately trying to push back the insurgents. \u0022Zaranj, provincial capital of Nimroz, has fallen to the Taliban,\u0022

KABUL: The Taliban on Friday (Aug 6) captured their first provincial capital since launching an offensive to coincide with the departure of foreign troops, a major blow to an Afghan government desperately trying to push back the insurgents."Zaranj, provincial capital of Nimroz, has fallen to the Taliban," Roh Gul Khairzad, the deputy governor of Nimroz, told AFP.

She said the city - in southwest Afghanistan near the Iranian border - had been taken"without a fight", and social media showed clips of insurgents roaming the streets, being cheered by residents.The veracity of the videos could not immediately be confirmed.

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"Zaranj, provincial capital of Nimroz, has fallen to the Taliban," Roh Gul Khairzad, the deputy governor of Nimroz, told AFP. She said the city - in southwest Afghanistan near the Iranian border - had been taken"without a fight", and social media showed clips of insurgents roaming the streets, being cheered by residents. "I did not make enough to buy food. The veracity of the videos could not immediately be confirmed. COVAX aims to secure 2 billion doses for low and middle income countries by the end of 2021. The fall of Zaranj came the same day as the head of the Afghan government's media information department was shot dead in Kabul in an attack claimed by the Taliban. But coronavirus fatigue has set in and people have become less willing to finance the goodwill as the pandemic drags on. The insurgents warned this week they would target senior administration figures in retaliation for increased air strikes.

As the UN Security Council met in New York to discuss the conflict, Deborah Lyons, head of the world body's Afghan aid operation, painted a grim picture of the country's deteriorating situation. "Last year we got a lot of cash donations," said Jashim Uddin Khan of the Shonge Achi Foundation, a group helping feed needy people, stray dogs and even monkeys in Dhaka. Either for administrative reasons, for lack of proper care, or frankly for vaccine hesitancy," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. "The Security Council must issue an unambiguous statement that attacks against cities must stop now," Lyons said via video-link from Kabul. 'COWARDLY ACT' In the Afghan capital, officials expressed shock at the assassination of Dawa Khan Menapal, one of the government's leading voices. There is a major fatigue for charity work. "Unfortunately, the savage terrorists have committed a cowardly act once again and martyred a patriotic Afghan," said interior ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai. "We are there ready to help at the request of governments. Menapal was popular in Kabul's tight-knit media community, and known for pillorying the Taliban on social media - even jokingly at times. - Economic toll - Bangladesh recorded economic growth averaging seven percent in the decade to 2020, which helped bring down the poverty rate to 20 percent.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Menapal"was killed in a special attack carried out by mujahideen". The United States condemned the killing, with White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki saying the insurgents"do not have to stay on this trajectory". While the government has allowed some garment factories to reopen and spent $15 billion on stimulus packages, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs. When asked about difficulties getting vaccine doses into people's arms, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told MSNBC that COVAX"production levels have not been as robust as they had hoped they would be". "They can choose to devote the same energy to the peace process as they are to their military campaign. We strongly urge them to do so. Story continues "There are days when I only have one meal," said Johra Begum, a 27-year-old mother of four in the Mehmankhana queue, who lost her job as a domestic servant." Psaki added that President Joe Biden continued to believe it was right to pull US troops out after 20 years of war..

The militants had warned Wednesday of more attacks targeting Afghan government leaders. They say they feed more than 2,500 people a day and are proud to tell patrons that they can "eat as much as you like". The day before, defence minister Bismillah Mohammadi .