The Taliban today said that they had captured the strategic border crossing of Spin Boldak along the frontier with Pakistan, continuing sweeping gains made since foreign forces stepped up their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The Interior Ministry insisted the attack had been repelled and government forces had control, but a Pakistan security source said the Taliban’s white flag was flying over the town.
If confirmed, the taking of Spin Boldak would be the latest in a string of border crossings and dry ports seized by the Taliban in recent weeks, with the insurgents looking to choke off much-needed revenue from the government in Kabul while also filling their own coffers.
Its seizure follows days of heavy fighting across Kandahar Province, where the government was forced to deploy commando fighters to prevent the fall of the provincial capital even as the insurgents inched closer to taking the frontier crossing. But, Afghan officials insisted they still had control.
The particular border crossing is arguably one of the most strategically valuable for the Taliban. It provides direct access to Pakistan’s Balochistan province, where the insurgents’ top leadership has been based for decades, along with an unknown number of reserve fighters who regularly enter Afghanistan to help bolster their ranks.