Berlin preparing flights to evacuate nationals from war-stricken country, says government spokesman
BERLIN (AA) – Germany on Friday expressed concerns over the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan amid key military advances by the Taliban over the past few days.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Foreign Ministry Deputy spokesman Christofer Burger said: “We are monitoring the situation very closely. The rapid deterioration of the security situation is very worrying.”
Burger added his ministry is preparing evacuation flights out of Afghanistan, only a day after Germany urged its citizens to leave the war-ravaged country.
Making rapid gains over the past few days, the Taliban have now reportedly taken control of 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals.
Following days of heavy clashes, the insurgents captured Afghanistan’s second-and third-largest cities Kandahar and Herat on Thursday and had advanced on three more provincial capitals by early Friday. The Taliban fighters also took over the key strategic city of Ghazni on Thursday.
The Taliban have overrun Pul-e-Alam, the capital of the eastern Logar province, which lies less than 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Kabul, the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a series of tweets on Friday.
Earlier this week, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer dismissed calls for Berlin to dispatch troops back to Afghanistan after the Taliban captured Kunduz, the city where German military forces were deployed for a decade.
Germany had the second-largest military contingent in Afghanistan after the US.