The terrorist group, Taliban, has captured an Afghanistan Provincial Capital, Kabul, and assassinated the government’s top media officer, Dawa Menapal, dealing twin high-profile blows to the Western-backed administration.
As stated, the Taliban attackers killed Menapal, who was Kabul Provincial Government Head, Media and Information Centre, in a series of assassinations aimed at weakening President Ashraf Ghani’s democratically elected government.
Aside from Menapal, scores of social activists, journalists, bureaucrats, judges and public figures fighting to sustain a liberal Islamic administration have been assassinated by Taliban fighters in a bid to silence voices of dissent in the war-torn country.
Confirming the development, the country’s Ministry of Interior Spokesperson, Mirwais Stanikzai, said the government’s media aide was killed during Juma’at prayers on Friday.
“The savage terrorists killed” Menapal during Friday prayers. He (Menapal) was a young man who stood like a mountain in the face of enemy propaganda, and who was always a major supporter of the (Afghan) regime,” Stanikzai said on Friday.
Also, a police spokesman in southern Nimroz province said the capital Zaranj had fallen to the hardline Islamists because of a lack of reinforcements from the government.
Fighting to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 ousting by U.S.-led forces, the Taliban have intensified their campaign to defeat the U.S.-backed government as foreign forces complete their withdrawal after 20 years of war.
The insurgents have taken dozens of districts and border crossings in recent months and put pressure on several provincial capitals, including Herat in the west and Kandahar in the south, as foreign troops withdraw.
Zaranj was the first provincial capital to fall to the group since the United States reached a deal with the Taliban in February 2020 for a U.S. troop pullout. A local source said that the Taliban had seized the governor’s office, the police headquarters and an ecampment near the Iranian border.
Taliban sources said that the group was celebrating, and Zaranj’s fall would boost the morale of their fighters in other provinces. A Taliban commander, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Zaranj has strategic importance as it is on the border with Iran.
“This is the beginning and see how other provinces fall in our hands very soon,” he said.