Afghanistan ‘spinning out of control’ amid Taliban offensive: UN

The Taliban armed group has captured the provincial capitals, Qalat, Terenkot, Pul-e-Alam, Feruz Koh, Qal-e-Naw and Lashkar Gah, hours after capturing Herat and Kandahar cities.

It so far has control over 18 provincial capitals across Afghanistan.

The United Nations chief urged the Taliban to immediately halt its offensive and negotiate “in good faith” to avert a prolonged civil war.

In his first appeal to the group, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a press conference he was “deeply disturbed by early indications that the Taliban are imposing severe restrictions in the areas under their control, particularly targeting women and journalists”.

“This is the moment to halt the offensive,” Guterres said. “This is the moment to start serious negotiation. This is the moment to avoid a prolonged civil war or the isolation of Afghanistan.”

‘They sold us out’: Afghans in disbelief over Taliban gains

Residents in Herat and Kandahar say they cannot believe how quickly both cities fell after the Taliban’s weeks-long effort to take two of Afghanistan’s largest cities.

“They literally sold us out, there was no government resistance,” one female resident of Kandahar told Al Jazeera, fighting back tears late on Thursday evening.

‘They sold us out’: Afghans in disbelief over Taliban gains

Residents in Herat and Kandahar say they cannot believe how quickly both cities fell after the Taliban’s weeks-long effort to take two of Afghanistan’s largest cities.

“They literally sold us out, there was no government resistance,” one female resident of Kandahar told Al Jazeera, fighting back tears late on Thursday evening.

“Operation Pitting, the military support to the drawdown of British nationals and entitled personnel has commenced in Afghanistan. This may also include the use of RAF (Royal Air Force) aircraft if required”, the UK’s defence ministry said in a statement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to the use of military support for the next phase of drawing down British nationals from Afghanistan and Home Office officials will be travelling there to support the increase in processing.

UN chief calls for immediate halt to Taliban offensive

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the Taliban to immediately halt their offensive in Afghanistan.

“The message from the international community to those on the warpath must be clear: seizing power through military force is a losing proposition. That can only lead to prolonged civil war or to the complete isolation of Afghanistan,” Guterres told reporters.

UN chief: ‘Afghanistan is spinning out of control’

At a press conference UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called on all parties to protect civilians, warning that attacks against civilians amount to war crimes.

“Afghanistan is spinning out of control,” Guterres said.

“Continued urban conflict will mean continued carnage – with civilians paying the highest price.”

“Afghanistan is spinning out of control,” Guterres said.

“Continued urban conflict will mean continued carnage – with civilians paying the highest price.”

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