President Ashraf Ghani called on regional strongmen to support his government after a stunning string of Taliban gains as U.S.-led foreign forces pull out, while a U.N. official said the gains made in human rights over the past 20 years were in danger of being erased.
In the capital, Kabul, Ghani’s aides said he was seeking help from regional militias he has squabbled with over the years to rally to the defence of his government. He also appealed to civilians to defend the country’s “democratic fabric”, aides said.
In the town of Aibak, capital of Samangan province on the main road between Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul, Taliban fighters were consolidating their control, moving into government buildings, residents said.
Most government security forces appeared to have withdrawn, residents said.
“The only way is self-imposed house arrest or to find a way to leave for Kabul,” said Sher Mohamed Abbas, a provincial tax officer, when asked about living conditions in Aibak.