China: Expert on 'deteriorating security' in Afghanistan
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Both militia fighters and local citizens have said they will take a stand against the Taliban in Afghanistan’s third-largest city of Herat. The locals have constructed their own defences on the edge of the city to stop Taliban suicide car bomb attacks. Afghan civil war era warlord Ismail Khan has rallied both militia soldiers and local citizens to build defences around Herat in preparation for a Taliban advance.
The city of approximately half a million people is now under siege by the Islamic extremists.
A power vacuum has been created in Afghanistan since Joe Biden’s administration in Washington announced all US and allied troops would withdraw from the country by 31 August.
The Taliban and local warlords have been engaged in sporadic battles as the US dismantle its operations in the war-torn nation.
Insurgent attacks have increased since the US announced their withdrawal, with the Taliban attacking Herat in nightly occurrences.
However, the local militia has so far not given ground to the extremists and the Taliban have yet to break into the heart of Herat.
An exclusive report by the Daily Mail described makeshift defences of lines of rocks and rubble left on roads on the outskirts of Herat.
Although the Taliban have so far been checked, refugees speaking to the Daily Mail at the nearby Sheidaei refugee camp expressed their concerns.
Speaking to one reporter on the ground outside Herat, one refugee described their lack of confidence in the local militia to defend the city.
The refugee pointed at nearby militia troops and said: “Look, they are just sitting and chatting, they are not aware of the people crossing.
“I thought I rescued my family to a safer place, but now I live on the frontline of the war.
“They may attack each moment.
“We are afraid of both the Taliban and government forces.”
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The residents of Herat have been shocked by the speed of the Taliban’s advance following the evacuation of US troops from Afghanistan.
The governor of Herat, Haji Amir Saeb, has called on the populace to band together to defend against Taliban incursions.
Speaking to the Daily Mail one of the militiamen said: “The call from Haji Amir Saeb’s office was very short.
“They told me, ‘the enemy is entering the city, it is now your duty to defend the southern security belt’.
“Since then, I am guarding here, and fighting with the Taliban some nights.
“I will stay here until I get a bullet in my head.”
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