Taliban Attacks Major Afghan City of Kandahar, Overruns Prison

Officials relocate valuable prisoners away from city

One of the largest cities in Afghanistan, Kandahar, the spiritual home of the Taliban and sometimes capital of Afghanistan, has come under attack, with the Taliban fighters looking to expand the gains they’ve already made with what could be the biggest yet.

Looming large in the battle for this key city are the prisoners. The government evacuated 240 prisoners on news the city was under attack, and the Taliban has already overrun a major jail, freeing some of their fighters.

Getting allied fighters freed and back on the front lines is a common tactic as the Taliban takes more and more cities. Kandahar might be a particularly serious place for this, as it’s a huge city, and has been used to house a lot of detainees.

The fall of cities like Kunduz is raising doubts about the government’s ability to survive in the face of the ongoing offensive. Kandahar could be a huge game-changer, potentially almost as big as the fall of Kabul.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.