Afghan President Ashraf Ghani replaced the two ministers in charge of managing the country’s deteriorating security on Saturday, as the Taliban continues its campaign to seize new territory in fierce battles with government forces.
The change in the defense and interior portfolios comes as violence escalates and peace talks continue to falter, while the Taliban have declared control of more than 40 districts in recent weeks across the rugged countryside.
New Defense Minister
The presidency announced – in a statement – the appointment of General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi as the new defense minister, and the latter fought under the leadership of the late anti-Taliban leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud, during the civil war in the 1990s.
The presidency added that Ghani also appointed General Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal as Minister of the Interior, and Mirzakwal previously held several regional positions, and Mohammadi replaces Asadullah Khalid, who has repeatedly traveled abroad to receive treatment for injuries he sustained after a suicide bomber attacked him in 2012.
The ministerial change, which must be approved by Parliament, comes in light of the escalation of violence since the beginning of May, after the US military began withdrawing its last forces from the country.
On the other hand, local officials announced today, Saturday, that the Taliban movement has taken control of two regions in northern Afghanistan, following clashes with government forces, during the past 12 hours.
The deputy head of the Jowzjan Provincial Council, Amr Al-Din Daneshjo, said that the center of the Mardian district in Jowzjan fell to the Taliban movement on Saturday morning, according to the Afghan Tolo News channel.
He added that at least 16 members of the security forces were killed and 14 others were captured by the Taliban in clashes in the area. Officials in Jowzjan did not issue any comment on the fall of the area to the Taliban, according to the same source.
In this context, a member of the Faryab Provincial Council, Abdul Ahad Ali Beg, said that the Taliban managed to control the center of the Khawaja Sabz Bush district, in Faryab (north), on Friday evening.
He added that the commander of the security forces in Faryab, surrendered to the Taliban movement with his personnel; For not receiving support, and during the past two months, more than 30 districts fell to the Taliban, according to the Afghan channel.
US President Joe Biden has set next September 11 as a deadline for withdrawing all forces from Afghanistan, as the Taliban insists on the withdrawal of foreign forces to end a 20-year war that cost Washington about $2.2 trillion and killed 2,400 soldiers, according to the University of War Costs Project. American Brown.