Taliban Capture About 150 Afghan Soldiers After Chase Into Turkmenistan
In the latest sign that Afghanistan’s army is losing control over the Badghis province in the northwestern part of the country, Taliban fighters this weekend captured 150 Afghan soldiers in the prince’s Murghab district, the biggest single capture by the Taliban to date.
About 100 of the soldiers had tried to escape the Taliban by fleeing across the border into Turkmenistan, but that country’s army forced the Afghan soldiers back across the border, where they were captured. The Murghab district is now mostly controlled by the Taliban.
The Taliban’s recent military successes are making the government of Afghanistan very nervous about what will happen when foreign troops withdraw from the country, especially because the US and the Taliban have virtually agreed on such a withdrawal in recent peace talks. Afghan officials last week expressed concern that those peace talks were “increasing the legitimacy of the Taliban” while “decreasing the legitimacy of the Afghan government.”