NEW DELHI: The Taliban on Friday captured the city of Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province on the border with Iran, which became the first provincial capital to be seized by the group since the Joe Biden administration announced complete withdrawal of US troops from the country, media reports said.
The Taliban attacked the provincial capital on Thursday night. Following the attack, hundreds of residents of the city fled towards the border with Iran, in desperate search for safety.
“All people, including women and children, have flocked there,” said a resident of Nimroz, referring to an attempt by hundreds of residents to cross the border to Iran.
There are also reports that government assets have been looted in different parts of the city.
Reports said that the Taliban, after capturing Kanak district in Nimroz, brutally executed at least 30 soldiers. But the Taliban have rejected the reports, saying the soldiers were killed during clashes.
A video from Nimroz shows several bodies, purportedly of those belonging to government forces, lying on the ground. The Taliban reportedly tortured the soldiers, maimed them and took out their eyes before killing them.
“Based on the international law, it is counted as a war crime. It is also against Islamic principles,” said Laal Gul Laal, the head of a human rights organisation.
“The rejection of all these killings on the battlefields doesn’t acquit them (Taliban) from responsibility,” said Zabihullah Farhang, a spokesman for Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.
Nimroz has five districts, of which three are completely under the control of the Taliban now.