Archives – In Kunduz, now captured by the Taliban, the German Bundeswehr ran a large camp until it withdrew from Afghanistan. Photo: Maurizio Gambarini / D
Kunduz is famous in Germany because the German army had a large field camp nearby for years. It was only recently that the Islamists were able to occupy the city of Sar-et-Pol.
In doing so, the Taliban took control of four provincial capitals within three days. Since the start of the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan in early May, the Taliban have launched several attacks. First, they were able to record huge territorial gains, especially in rural areas. They now control more than half of the country’s nearly 400 districts as well as many border crossings. Recently, the fighting has increasingly moved to the capitals of the 34 provinces.
The German army withdrew after 20 years
The Taliban have long surrounded Kunduz. The provincial councils said the Islamists have intensified their attacks over the past two days. Apart from a military base about three kilometers from the city center and the airport, the Taliban now controls the entire city. Government officials fled there. The people in the city had neither water nor food. They hid in their homes.
Kunduz, with a population of about 370,000, is also of great interest to the Bundeswehr, which withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of June after nearly 20 years. Here German soldiers fought for hours with the Taliban. Nowhere in Afghanistan were the Germans killed more than in Kunduz and the neighboring province of Baghlan. The previous year, about 100 German soldiers were stationed at the Pamir Camp.
Attack more cities
The situation in Sari Pul, which has an estimated population of 180,000, is similar to that of Kunduz. According to the provincial councils, the Islamists have taken control of the most important government buildings under their control since Sunday morning (local time). The security forces felt a heavy fight with them during the night. However, when the second police district fell, they left their positions and retired to a military base one kilometer from the city center. Government officials are now at this military base. The Taliban fired mortars at them.
According to Provincial Council member Masoumeh Shadab, there are many dead bodies in the streets. But no one dared to save them. Sar-i Pul has an estimated population of 180,000. The territory, in which oil fields are extracted, among other things, is bounded in the east by the provinces of Balkh with the capital Mazar-i-Sharif and in the north by the Gosdegan province. Provincial councils said the government controls only the Balchib district of the province.
On Friday, the small provincial capital of Sarang at Nimros on the Iranian border fell to the Taliban virtually without a fight. This was followed on Saturday by the city of Schiberghan in Jausdschan in the north, the seat of power for controversial former warlord and former Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, a prominent anti-Taliban figure.
According to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the United States, which has practically completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, continues to conduct air strikes in the country. A spokesman on Twitter said that a Taliban meeting in Shiberghan was attacked by B-52 bombers. The US military mission in Afghanistan ends on August 31. According to US data, the draw is more than 95 percent complete. (SDA)
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