Taliban capture key Afghanistan-Iran border crossing

Taliban capture key Afghanistan-Iran border crossing
Afghan soldiers search a man at a checkpoint in Herat province. The army has lost ground to the Taliban. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Officials in Afghanistan said that the Taliban have captured a major border crossing between Afghanistan and Iran.

Video footage shows Taliban fighters taking down the Afghan flag from the roof of the border customs office.

The Islam Qala border crossing is one of the biggest trade gateways into Iran, generating an estimated $20 million monthly revenue for the government.

The Taliban are rapidly retaking access in Afghanistan as the US-led mission removes the last of its troops.

Earlier this week, the Americans quietly abandoned Bagram airfield, a sprawling base that was the centre of US operations in the country and once held tens of thousands of troops.

The Taliban are thought to now control more than a third of Afghanistan’s 400 districts, including an arc of territory from the Iranian border in the west to the frontier with China on the other side of the country.

On Friday, the Afghan government acknowledged the loss of the Islam Qala border crossing, in Herat province.

Interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian said: “All Afghan security forces including the border units are present in the area, and efforts are under way to recapture the site.”

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the crossing was “under our full control”.

Taliban fighters had seized five districts in Herat without a fight. More than 1,000 members of the Afghan security forces fled to Tajikistan earlier this week as the Taliban advanced around them.

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