NEW YORK: Taliban insurgents have captured more than 50 of 370 districts in Afghanistan since May, the U.N. special envoy said on Tuesday, warning that increased conflict posed a risk of insecurity to many other countries.
Deborah Lyons told the U.N. Security Council that the announcement earlier this year that foreign troops would withdraw sent a “seismic tremor” through Afghanistan.
“Those districts that have been taken surround provincial capitals, suggesting that the Taliban are positioning themselves to try and take these capitals once foreign forces are fully withdrawn,” Lyons said.
After 20 years, the United States has started to withdraw its remaining 2,500 troops in Afghanistan and aims to be completely out of the country by Sept. 11. About 7,000 non-U.S. personnel from mainly NATO countries – along with Australia, New Zealand and Georgia – are also planning to leave by that date.