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Afghan Government Sacks Army Chief Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai After Taliban’s Wins

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Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai was appointed Afghanistan’s army chief in June this year as part of a shake-up of the war-ravaged nation’s security structure. The Taliban* claimed control over its ninth provincial capital on Tuesday in the past six days. However, reports suggest Afghan forces retook Farah city from the Taliban on Wednesday.

The Afghanistan government has removed Army Chief, General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, after Farah, Baghlan and Badakhshan provinces fell to the Taliban in the past 24 hours, Ariana News reported on Wednesday.

The Ghani government has appointed Major-General Haibatullah Alizai, the Commander of Special Operations Command of the Afghan National Army, to lead the army in place of Ahmadzai.

The Taliban claims that hundreds of soldiers of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces surrendered with tanks and other weapons in Kunduz on Wednesday.

“The arms of the Islamic Emirate are open to all those who break away from the ranks of the enemy (Afghan forces) and receive a security card from us. They will not be threatened by the Taliban,” the group’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

Taliban insurgents have also strengthened their hold around the country’s biggest regional hubs of Herat, Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif.

Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani arrived at Mazar-i-Sharif to take stock of the security situation and chalk out a comprehensive strategy on how to defend the north.

The violence in the war-torn nation has worsened in the past two months as US-led NATO troops began withdrawing from the country. The Taliban has since captured large rural territories and launched offensives on major cities.

*A terrorist organisation banned in Russia and other countries.

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