MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia currently has no confirmation that the Taliban* have captured the strategic city of Kunduz as the militants intensify their offensive across Afghanistan, the special presidential representative for Afghanistan told Sputnik.
“Zaranj [the capital of Nimruz province] has been seized [by the Taliban] as well as Sheberghan, but the latter can still be recaptured. Nothing new. I have already said that this scenario is unfolding… Kunduz has not been captured yet”, Zamir Kabulov said.
On Sunday, the Taliban claimed to have taken control of Kunduz, which could be a tipping point in the conflict since the northern city is at strategic crossroads and a densely populated agricultural centre. The Afghan government denied having lost control over Kunduz.
© AP Photo / Allauddin Khan
Members of a breakaway faction of the Taliban militants walk during a gathering, in Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan. File photo
The armed confrontation between the Taliban and Afghan government forces has been on the rise since foreign troops began to withdraw in May. The UN assistance mission in Afghanistan estimated that over 5,000 civilians were killed or injured in the country in 2021, a 47% increase compared to 2020.
*A terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries