The city of Aybak, the capital of the northern province of Samangan, fell to the Taliban on Monday, MPs confirmed.
With Aybak, the number of cities that fell to the Taliban recently has risen to five. Zarang, capital of Nimruz, Sheberghan, capital of Jawzjan province, Taloqan, capital of Takhar, Sar-e-Pul, capital of Sar-e-Pul province and now Aybak, capital of Samangan, are the cities that are under Taliban control.
The residents of Aybak accused the central government of negligence.
MPs from Samangan in Parliament said that the security forces left the city without fighting.
“Unfortunately, Aybak, the city in Samangan, fell to the Taliban today about 2:30pm (local time). The government forces retreated from the city and now the Taliban has entered and captured the police HQ and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) building,” said Abdalelah Mohammadi, an MP from Samangan.
In recent days the Taliban intensified their attacks in the northern parts of the country, especially in Jawzjan, Samangan, Takhar, Balkh, Kunduz and Sar-e-Pul provinces.
Taloqan fell to the Taliban late Sunday after weeks of fighting with security forces and public uprising forces.
Local officials said hundreds of the security forces retreated from Taloqan and moved to Farkhar and Warsaj districts in the province and have retaken the two districts from the Taliban.
“Takhar has been at war for the past 40 days and witnessed heavy clashes…. The people are concerned about the situation and most of the people have left their homes and moved to other provinces,” said Faramarz Amiri, a resident of Takhar.
Ramazan, another resident of Takhar, said: “The security forces and public uprising forces have been fighting for the past 40 days and standing against the Taliban without the support of the central government. Unfortunately, the lack of equipment and central government’s support has caused Taloqan to fall to the Taliban.”
In Kunduz city, clashes have been ongoing between the security forces and the Taliban for the past two days.
Despite the loss of the provincial governor's office, police HQ and NDS building, the government forces are still fighting the Taliban close to the 217 Pamir Corps and airport.
“Clashes are ongoing in Kunduz city close to the remaining government buildings,” said Mohammad Yousuf Ayoubi, head of the provincial council of Kunduz.
Officials of the Parliament's defense commission have urged the government to take immediate action against the Taliban’s advance, saying: “If immediate action does not take place, other cities will also fall to the Taliban.”
But the security organizations are assuring the people that the cities will be retaken.
Currently, the Taliban has increased pressure on Faizabad city, capital of the northeastern province of Badakhshan; Maimana, capital of Faryab; Pul-e-Khumri in Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of Balkh province.
The Afghan security forces pushed back a Taliban attack in the Dehdadi district of Balkh, the Defense Ministry said on Monday, adding: “The Taliban left the area after suffering heavy casualties.”
The Taliban claim, however, their fighters clashed with security forces in the Kod-e-Barq area and govt forces sustained casualties.
The National Army's 209 Shaheen Corps, which is one of the security forces' largest military bases, is also located in the district.
Dehdadi borders Mazar e Sharif city.
“The enemies attacks are ongoing in Kunduz, Sheberghan, Samangan and Sar-e-Pul but the government forces are standing against them and we also have made progress in Kunduz and other cities. The enemies have suffered heavy casualties” said Mirwais Stankezai, a spokesman for Interior Ministry.
The security organization on Monday announced that 579 Taliban were killed, and 161 others were wounded in the past 24 hours in operations mounted by security forces. But the Taliban has not yet commented on casualties.