Herat is the second provincial capital the Taliban has raided in the last 24 hours, according to Reuters. Taliban fighters entered Lashkargah, the capital of the southern province of Helmand, just a day earlier.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the incident in Herat could have occurred due to crossfire, and claimed that the compound was “safe” and had “no problems” after Taliban fighters arrived.
“UNAMA office was located near the battlefield, which may have been damaged by the guards during the war and the reciprocal fire,” Mujahid said on Twitter. “But when the Mojahedin arrived there, the office was safe, they did not have to worry.”
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement that the U.S. “strongly condemns the attack” and emphasized the need to end the ongoing violence in Afghanistan.
“We reiterate our call for an immediate reduction in violence in Afghanistan, and for all regional actors to encourage the parties to return to negotiations without delay so that the Afghan people can achieve a durable and just political settlement that brings the peace and security they deserve,” Sullivan said.
A U.N. report released earlier this week shows that civilian casualties in Afghanistan have reached record level highs in the first half of 2021, with a spike in May when the U.S. withdrawal began. The report did not cover casualties in July, when the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces only intensified.
In April, Biden announced a full withdrawal of approximately 3,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11. He gave an updated timeline earlier this month, saying that the job would be done by Aug. 31.
The nation’s highest military officer said last week that the U.S. has completed more than 95% of the withdrawal. Until it is finished, the U.S. is continuing to support Afghan forces with combat aircraft.
Article source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/30/un-compound-in-herat-afghanistan-attacked-by-anti-government-elements.html