Afghanistan: Kabul likely to fall to Taliban says Dr Afzal Ashraf
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Fighting in the region has escalated significantly in recent weeks after the US-led military coalition began their withdrawal which is set to be complete by the end of the month. At least 27 children have been killed and more than 130 injured across three days amid the ferocious violence, an atrocity the UN children’s agency Unicef has called a “rapid escalation of grave violations against children”. There are fears among European leaders that this violence will spark a mass migration out of the country which could resemble the 2015 refugee crisis, when millions of Syrians fled the fighting rocking their country.
The collapse of the Afghan government could cause a similar mass migration.
A joint letter addressed to the European Commission and signed by ministers from Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Denmark asks for deportations to the country for rejected asylum applicants to continue, despite the Taliban’s escalating violence.
The letter said: “Stopping returns sends the wrong signal.”
Germany’s defence minister rejected calls for its soldiers to return to Afghanistan after Taliban insurgents took Kunduz – an area where German troops were deployed for a decade.
Ghulam Rasool, an engineer, was trying to hire a bus to get his family to the capital as the fighting engulfed his hometown.
Mr Rasool said: “We may just be forced to walk till Kabul, but we are not sure if we could be killed on the way. … Ground clashes were not just stopping even for 10 minutes.”
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08:38 Atrocities against children growing 'higher by the day'
Atrocities being committed against children in Afghanistan are growing “higher by the day,” according to UN children’s charity Unicef.
The Taliban has made major advances in the past few days, capturing six provincial capitals since Friday.
More than 1,000 citizens have been murdered as a result of the conflict in the last month alone.
Many children have been killed by roadside bombs and caught in crossfire.
“Afghanistan has long been one of the worst places on Earth to be a child but in recent weeks and, indeed, the last 72 hours, that’s got a lot worse,” Unicef Afghanistan’s Samantha Mort told the BBC.
08:30 'These are their people to defend,' says U.S.
The United States is deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Afghanistan but that Afghan security forces have the capability to fight the insurgent group, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
John Kirby, said: “These are their military forces, these are their provincial capitals, their people to defend and it’s really going to come down to the leadership that they’re willing to exude here at this particular moment.”
Asked what the U.S. military can do if the Afghan security forces are not putting up a fight, Mr Kirby replied: “Not much.”
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