The advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan continues unabated. According to the Dpa agency and the satellite TV al-Jazeera, 18 out of 34 provincial capitals are in the hands of the movement founded by Mullah Omar, all cities that have fallen within a few days. The BBC, on the other hand, speaks of at least a third of the country’s capitals controlled by the insurgents, while thousands of displaced people continue to arrive in Kabul and fears for the capital are growing. CNN reports 17 capitals passed under the control of the Taliban since last Friday. In the last hours, as reported by the Dpa, the insurgents have stormed the main cities of the provinces of Logar (Pul-i-alam is located just 80 km from Kabul), Uruzgan (Tirinkot), Zabul (Qalat) and Ghor (Firozkoh o Chaghcharan). In these last three regions, according to local officials cited by the agency, insurgents have taken control of the city center and government buildings with little resistance. Among the big cities that ended up in the hands of the Taliban are those of Herat, where Italian soldiers have been deployed for years, Kandahar, the cradle of the movement founded by Mullah Omar, and Lashkar Gah, capital of the turbulent southern province of Helmand. From north to south, on the map of the insurgent advance published by Axios based on al-Jazeera data (where Pul-i-alam is not marked, however), there are also Faizabad (capital of Badakhshan province), Kunduz ( in the province of the same name), Taloqan (Takhar), Sheberghan (Jowzjan), Sar-e-Pul (province of the same name), Aybak (Samangan), Pul-i-Khumri (Baghlan), Ghazni (province of the same name), Farah (province of the same name) ), Qala-e Naw (Badghis) and Zaranj (Nimruz). The Taliban: “Amnesty for those who have collaborated with Kabul and the West” The Taliban have announced that they will grant amnesty to those who have collaborated with the authorities in the last 20 years of Kabul or with the international forces led by the United States. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter in a note on the latest developments in the country. Mujahid described the advance as a demonstration of the ” popularity ” that the insurgents enjoy among the Afghan population. The conquest of 18 provincial capitals in one week, he noted, ” is not possible with the use of force. ” ” The regions and provinces that have come under the control of the Islamic Emirate are proof of made of the popularity and acceptance that the nation reserves for us, because such great and rapid progress would not have been possible by force, ” said the Taliban spokesman. Addressing those who have collaborated with Kabul and the West, Mujahid said that “ the arms of the Islamic Emirate are open to them. ” Meanwhile, the United States and other European countries are speeding up procedures to evacuate the Afghans who have collaborated. with them over the years and their families. While procedures are underway to repatriate staff from international embassies to Kabul, the Taliban have ensured that Afghan diplomatic personnel and civilians are not a target of the insurgents. Indeed, the Taliban ” will protect their lives, property and activities. And they will create a safe environment for their beloved nation, no one has to worry about that. ” For this reason, Mujahid continued, “compatriots or foreigners, not only will they all be safe and sound in the Islamic Emirate, but they will also enjoy a safe atmosphere.” Stoltenberg: “Support for the Afghan government” “Our goal remains the maximum possible support for the Afghan government and the Afghan security forces “. This was assured in a note by the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, after today’s meeting of the Atlantic Council for consultations on the situation in Afghanistan. “We continue to evaluate developments on the ground – continues Stoltenberg – and we are in constant contact with the Afghan authorities and with the rest of the international community”. “The Taliban must understand that they will not be recognized by the international community if they take the country by force. We remain committed to supporting a political solution to the conflict,” Stoltenberg reiterates. “NATO allies are deeply concerned about the high levels of violence caused by the ‘offensive by the Taliban, including civilian attacks, targeted killings and reports of other serious human rights abuses “, highlights the NATO Secretary General, reaffirming that” the safety of our personnel is fundamental: NATO will maintain its presence diplomatic in Kabul and will continue to adapt it if necessary “. Di Maio hears Draghi Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio yesterday phoned Prime Minister Mario Draghi to take stock of the situation in Afghanistan in light of the latest developments after the advance of the Taliban . According to what we learn, during the interview the need to proceed with the utmost attention to secure the staff of the Italian embassy in Kabul was also reiterated. “We are preparing for any eventuality, including evacuation. safety of the personnel of our embassy and of our compatriots. If necessary, with the important help of the Defense we will bring everyone to safety in Italy, quickly “, says Di Maio in an interview with Corriere della Sera. “In the event of evacuation – he specifies – the embassy will remain operational from Rome and the funds intended to support the Afghan security forces can be redirected towards the protection of the collaborators of our diplomatic, military and civil components”. “At the Farnesina we are monitoring the situation 24 hours a day, in close synergy with our embassy in Kabul, with the defense and interior ministries and with our intelligence. The priority is to secure our compatriots “, he continues, admitting that” it is painful to see that. what is happening, even more painful to think of all the victims this war has caused “. “But we must not forget the contribution that our soldiers have made in these 20 years in support of the Afghan communities – he says – There will be no new military commitment, but we cannot think of abandoning the Afghan people after 20 years”. the closest contact with the US State Department. Secretary General Ettore Sequi heard the Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, with whom he agreed to further strengthen coordination between the embassies of the allied countries in Kabul, as well as bilaterally, and discussed the initiatives in place and of those that can be undertaken in consideration of the worsening of the security situation on the ground. This was announced by the Farnesina.
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