AKIPRESS.COM - Taliban fighters in Afghanistan seized control of a major border crossing with Pakistan on Wednesday, one of the most important objectives they have achieved so far during a rapid advance across the country as U.S. forces pull out, Reuters reported.
Video released by the militants showed their white flag with black Koranic verse flying in place of the Afghanistan flag above the Friendship Gate at the border crossing in the Afghan town of Wesh, opposite the Pakistani town of Chaman.
The crossing, in the Spin Boldak district south of Afghanistan's main southern city Kandahar, is the landlocked country's second busiest entry point and main commercial artery between its sprawling southwest region and Pakistani sea ports. Afghan government data indicate that the route is used by 900 trucks a day.
Afghan officials said government forces had pushed back the Taliban and were in control of the district. But civilians and Pakistani officials said the Taliban remained in control of the crossing.
Taliban is advancing offensives across Afghanistan reaching the borders of the neighboring states and having taken control over border crossings into Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. Few districts and Kabul remain under control of the Afghan government.
The United Nations Organization expressed deep concerns about the rapid growth of refugees.
Afghanistan faces humanitarian crisis. If peaceful agreement is not reached and violence is not stopped, Afghanistan wil face the furthe growth of refugees inside the country and beyond, UN Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq said.
According to UN agencies, the number of displaced persons in Afghanistan has grown for 270,000 since January 2021, bringing the total number of refugees to more than 3.5 million.
Refugees flee from zones of hostilities between Taliban and Afghan government forces and districts captured by Taliban where rigid rules are established.