Taliban Enter Key North Afghan Capitals

Locals report panic in Kunduz as fighting grows

With an ongoing offensive in northern Afghanistan contesting a number of key districts, the Taliban are now at the point Sunday where they entered two provincial capitals, Kunduz and Maimana, raising concern about the government losing some costly ground.

Locals reported the Taliban seized the entrance to Kunduz, and said there was panic all over the city as the sounds of gunfire could be heard, and Taliban fighters were fanning out around the city. The Taliban last held Kunduz in 2016.

In Maimana, the capital of Faryab, the Taliban forces showed up at the city entrance late Sunday, and have entered some peripheral areas. Faryab has been the site of major fighting in recent days.

Officials in Faryab had downplayed the risk of the Taliban taking the capital, saying that reinforcements would slow them down. As has often been the case, however, it’s not clear if the reinforcements are actually coming, and often the Afghan government just leaves defensive forces hanging on hopes of support.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.