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Dostum back in north; ‘Taliban will be defeated’

AT News

KABUL: After an unforeseen seizure of Sheberghan city in volatile Jawzjan and fears of a spillover, Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum has returned to neighboring Mazar-e-Sharif city after a long absence in a last-ditch bid to tame the rapidly advancing Taliban.

The former vice president appeared before media before his departure from Kabul on Tuesday evening and sent a firm warning to the Taliban that they will face a humiliating defeat.

He said that the Taliban had attempted to survive in the north, but they ended up being trapped and defeated. “They will face the same that their dead leader once did,” he said, referring to Taliban commander Mullah Fazel who order surrender of 2,000 Taliban militants in 2001, who were later shot in shipping containers.

“This time too, they have no escaping routes from the north. They will be surrounded from all fronts and they can’t escape,” he said, adding that “people will rise against them.”

Dostum had gone to Turkey for medical treatment and just returned to see his city collapse and his own house rampaged by the militants who overran Jawzjan. Taliban, counter intuitively, have advanced very fast and captured 9 cities so far, adding to their vast rural territorial gains.

President Ghani has also travelled to Mazar to assess the situation. He has met local commanders and security officials, who put forth a plan to counter the Taliban. The president said he would bring pro-government forces in government in the security session led by the President.

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