In a statement released on Tuesday, the Afghan army announced that they had successfully repelled a Taliban onslaught in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, with more than 80 Taliban fighters killed in the operation.
On Monday, the Taliban announced that they were on their way to take control of Mazar-i-Sharif. Shortly after the advance began, the radical movement informed Sputnik that the government had lost control of the city and that it would be captured by the Taliban within days of the start of the offensive.
In a social media post, the 209 Shaheen Corps of the Afghan National Army stated that “heroic security and defence forces members, paratroopers with the backing of the Air Force and militia have once again confined the enemy.”
It was hoped that the Taliban onslaught would result in the breaching of a defence line in the Dihdadi area and the capture of a stronghold in the Nahr-e Shahi district, according to the Afghan military. The Taliban launched the attack on Saturday. During the firefight, more than 80 Taliban terrorists were killed, and one hideaway as well as a substantial cache of weapons and ammunition were destroyed.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands intends to continue deporting Afghan asylum seekers despite the Taliban’s intensification of their onslaught in the conflict-torn country, according to a report published on Tuesday by the NRC Handelsblad newspaper in the Netherlands.
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Due to the intensification of battles between Taliban insurgents and government troops, Afghanistan requested that the European Union refrain from deporting Afghan asylum seekers for at least three months in July.
A letter was reportedly sent to the European Commission by the Netherlands and five other EU member states – including Germany, Denmark, Austria, Belgium and Greece – in which they expressed their desire for the existing deal with Afghanistan on refugee repatriation to continue to be in effect.
The countries of the EU make reference to the obligation that all countries have to repatriate their nationals in this letter. They also highlighted their concern about the likelihood that Afghanistan will continue to be the primary source of illegal migration to the EU in the foreseeable future.
In recent months, as foreign troops have begun to leave Afghanistan, there has been an increase in fighting between Afghan government forces and the Taliban. According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the number of Afghans killed or injured in the first half of the year reached a new high of 5,183, with a particularly dramatic increase reported in May, when the Taliban launched its onslaught against the country’s government.