Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry has dismissed as an “absolute lie” a claim by the Taliban militants that they have taken control of 90 percent of the country’s borders.
“It is baseless propaganda,” deputy spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense Fawad Aman told AFP on Friday.
His remarks came a day after a spokesman for the Taliban told Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti that about 90 percent of Afghanistan’s borders, with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran, “are under our control” following offensives across the conflict-ridden country and amid the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces.
The United States, along with its NATO allies, invaded Afghanistan in October 2001. The invasion, which has led to the longest war in US history, removed the Taliban from power, but it worsened the security situation in the country.
The Taliban militants are now intensifying their attacks as the foreign forces complete a withdrawal. The US and its NATO allies are blamed for the surge in violence in Afghanistan, and many say the invaders failed to stabilize the security situation in the country.
Aman, the Afghan official, claimed that government troops were in control of the country’s borders and all “main cities and highways.”
Separately, the Afghan Interior Ministry blamed the Taliban for the murder of nearly 100 civilians in the town of Spin Boldak, along the border with Pakistan, which the militants captured last week.
“Afghan security forces will soon take revenge on these wild terrorists,” Interior Ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanekzai tweeted on Thursday.
Aman also said on Friday that, “The Taliban, whenever they get control (of territory), the first thing they do is destroy public facilities or public infrastructure, harass people, and forcefully displace families,” adding, “It happened in Spin Boldak too.”
The militants are believed to control about half of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts.