Huge Casualties Reported as Taliban Escalates Attacks Across North Afghanistan

Afghan security chiefs defy parliament, refuse to brief them on situation

A large number of attacks over the weekend in Afghanistan has only grown worse as of Monday, with reports of districts falling in several parts of the country’s north, and the Afghan military suffering “huge casualties” in the fighting.

After heavy fighting in Baghlan, the Taliban is now moving into Jawzjan and Sar-e Pul, leading provincial officials to warn that a collapse is imminent without reinforcements, and substantial territory could fall to the Taliban very soon.

All of this has the Afghan parliament standing up and taking notice, but their ability to get any information out of the security chiefs is in serious question, as the ministers of Defense and Interior, along with the NDS chief, refused a parliamentary summons Monday to discuss the situation.

This led to renewed calls for all three officials to resign, something they had recently offered to do, only to be refused by President Ghani. MPs complain that these officials refuse to be held accountable, and that refusing to talk to parliament is not acceptable.

While officials are shrugging that off, saying they were busy with the security crisis, there is talk of the parliament having a discussion as soon as Wednesday on impeaching all three. Efforts by MPs to show seriousness on the security crisis are seen particularly important ahead of next month’s vote.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.