Afghan forces have clashed with Taliban fighters in an operation to retake a key border crossing with Pakistan. The unrest at Spin Boldak follows weeks of growing violence, as the Taliban fill the void left by US troops. The security situation is stretching government forces to their limits, and forcing many people to try to leave the country.
Desperate and looking for a way out, hundreds gather at a closed border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan with whatever they can carry.
Battles between Afghan Forces and Taliban fighters have escalated across the country in recent weeks. On Friday, award winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqqi was killed near the Spin Boldak crossing.
He was embedded with special forces when the military attempted to regain control of the crossing. It’s an economic lifeline for southern Afghanistan, a crucial artery for exporting farm goods. Controlling it would be an economic windfall for the Taliban.
Insurgents’ recent attacks seem tactical, taking advantage of NATO and US Troop withdrawal. US President Joe Biden has made it clear, nation building wasn’t part of the war on terror launched 20 years ago. He says it’s time to leave Afghanistan’s future to its people.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took a swipe at Biden, calling the mission a failure. Even as districts topple to the Taliban, Afghan leaders look with optimism towards stalled peace talks in Doha. They say peace will only come from the negotiating table and not the battlefield.