Taliban capture Mi-24 helicopter gifted by India to Afghanistan

The chopper blades were missing, which indicates the Afghan forces must have removed them to ensure Taliban militants do not use the helicopter

Taliban fighters stand beside the captured Mi-24 helicopter. Pic: Twitter

The Taliban forces released a picture on Thursday (August 12) displaying an Mi-24 attack helicopter, gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2019.

The Taliban has reportedly captured the Kunduz airport where the chopper was parked. However, the helicopter blades were missing, indicating that the Afghan forces, led by President Ashraf Ghani, must have removed them to ensure Taliban militants do not use the helicopter.

India has had cordial relations with the Ghani government, which is now believed to have been restricted to just 35% territory of Afghanistan. As an extension of friendly relations between the two countries, India gave Mi-24 attack helicopters to the Afghan Air Force besides three Cheetah light utility helicopters three years back.

Meanwhile, the Taliban forces continue their march ahead, capturing more cities and territories as the hapless Afghan forces struggle to hold the forte. Reports suggest they are now in control of over 65% of Afghanistan territory since the US and NATO forces left after a decade of bloodshed.

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On Thursday, Taliban took control of a police headquarters in southern Afghanistan. Three provincial capitals and an army headquarters too fell into their hands.

Taliban won’t talk until President Ashraf Ghani quits – Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Taliban will talk to the Afghanistan government only after Asharaf Ghani quits as president.

Khan told foreign media in Islamabad that a political settlement is difficult in present circumstances. “I tried to persuade the Taliban… three to four months back when they came here. The condition is that as long as Ashraf Ghani is there, we (Taliban) are not going to talk to the Afghan government,” the Pakistan Prime Minister said.

The Afghanistan government has openly accused Pakistan of lending a helping hand to the Taliban militants. Recently, citizens of Afghanistan started a social media campaign blaming Islamabad for violence in their country.

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