The United Nations has urged Afghanistan’s neighbours to keep their borders open as the number of civilians fleeing the Taliban onslaught is increasing. Warned of a humanitarian catastrophe, the World Food Programme (WFP) said, thousands of those internally displaced have been arriving in Kabul, seeing the capital as their last safe refuge.
The Taliban yesterday seized the country’s second-largest city Kandahar, the latest provincial capital to fall. The southern Afghan city was once the Taliban’s stronghold and is strategically important because of its international airport, agricultural and industrial output.
The insurgents also took the nearby city of Lashkar Gah, and now control about a third of Afghanistan’s provincial capitals.
The advance comes as the US and other foreign troops withdraw after 20 years of military operations. According to the UN, more than 1,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in the past month alone.
Many of those seeking safety in Kabul have been sleeping on the streets. According to Save the Children, about 72,000 children are among those fleeing to the capital in recent days.