by Tim Korso
The Taliban* movement has made significant gains in the country since the US and other NATO countries began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. Despite condemnation from the international community, the Taliban has continued its attacks against Kabul’s forces and officials.
The Taliban* has taken responsibility for killing the head of Afghanistan’s Government Media and Information Centre (GMIC) Dawa Khan Menapal, on 6 August in the country’s capital Kabul. Menapal often worked as a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani. The Taliban claimed the attack was “punishment” for the official’s actions.
The government official was attacked by gunmen along the Darul Aman Road in Kabul, TOLO News reported. Menapal is the latest victim in a series of attacks against Afghan officials carried out by the terrorist movement. Prior to Friday’s assassination, the Taliban killed the governor of the Sayed Abad district in the province of Maidan Wardak on 3 August.
“[Menapal] was a young man who stood like a mountain in the face of enemy propaganda, and who was always a major supporter of the [Afghan] regime”, Interior Ministry spokesperson Mirwais Stanikzai said.
In recent months, the terrorist movement has made significant advances in Afghanistan capturing smaller towns and villages across the country and securing most of the nation’s borders. At the same time, it has not captured any provincial capitals.
This offensive coincided with the beginning of the US and NATO troop pullout from Afghanistan. The withdrawal was launched after US President Joe Biden announced his country would be ending its nearly 20-year campaign in Afghanistan and will have its troops pulled out by 11 September. Washington thus respected its peace agreement reached with the Taliban by the previous administration in April 2020.