Afghan officials this week announced a curfew in most provinces as the government attempts to repel Taliban attacks as the US military withdrawal draws to a close.
The Afghan Interior Ministry has instituted a nighttime curfew that begins at 10 p.m. and lasts until 4 a.m.
The curfew will be in effect in 31 provinces, with Kabul, Nangharhar and Panjshir being exempt. The government claims the curfew will allow it to better defend itself against Taliban attacks.
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This decision is the Afghan government’s latest sign of desperation.
The Taliban have gained “momentum” with their attacks as the US military continues to withdraw its troops from the country – a move that several military leaders and politicians on both sides have criticized.
Former President Donald Trump presented a plan to withdraw troops by May, but President Biden postponed that deadline until September 11 after taking office in 2021. The Pentagon said on Thursday that the withdrawal was completed at 95 % and would be completed by August 31.
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However, Afghanistan struggled in the absence of US military support. The Defense Ministry withdrew its forces from seven districts on July 5 to concentrate defensive efforts around some of the most critical capital provinces.
These efforts appear to have failed, with Taliban forces taking 19 districts “without a fight,” according to Ata Mohammad Noor, an Afghan warlord and key US ally.
Noor blamed a cranky government unable to organize, and called the United States “irresponsible” for its departure.
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The Taliban said on July 9 that they controlled at least 85% of the territory of the country. They also captured several border crossings with Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, opening up potential revenue for the terrorist group and cutting off key transportation routes.
Former President George W. Bush called the US withdrawal a “mistake” which will have “unbelievably bad” consequences.
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“It’s a mistake,” Bush told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “They’re just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people, and it breaks my heart.”
Brooke Singman of Fox News contributed to this report.
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