After a fierce three-day battle, 110 police in a major police base in Badakshan surrendered to Taliban attackers. This is the largest surrender of Afghan forces to the Taliban in years. Police officials blamed the surrender on the government which failed to send sufficient reinforcements to fend off the Taliban.
The surrender was not without conditions.
The police agreed to surrender and be disarmed but were then all released leaving the base under control of the Taliban. While the main strength of the Taliban is in the south, the Taliban have lately extended their influence in the north and now control territory there.
The area where the base is located is isolated and has been cut off from the rest of Afghanistan by heavy rains that made it difficult for the government to send in reinforcements quickly. Much of the Taliban "Spring Offensive" focused on the north.
However, the Taliban have also been active in areas in the south where they have always been strong. In June they raided a series of checkpoints in Helmand in the south killing at least 20 police officers.
Both US and Afghan officials estimated in June that 330 Afghan soldiers and police were killed or wounded each week since the Spring Offensive began. This is a 70 percent increase for the first 15 weeks of conflict compared to last year.
As fighting goes on, there are also ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government hosted by Pakistan. The second round of talks is scheduled for July 31. There had been some speculation that the next venue would be in China, or Qatar where the Taliban have a political office. The first round of talks was on July 7th in Pakistan.
NEWTEKWORLDNEWS Afghanistan update:
Wednesday BBC news are reporting the death of the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar.
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.