Shafaq News / The extremist Taliban movement seized the second largest dam in Afghanistan, after months of fierce fighting in their former stronghold in Kandahar province, according to official officials and the rebel movement, today, Thursday.
Local officials told AFP that the Dahla Dam, which supplies irrigation water to farmers through a network of canals, as well as drinking water to the state capital, is now under the control of the Taliban.
Taliban spokesman Qari Youssef told the agency, “We have captured the Dahleh Dam in Arghandab.”
Haji Ghalbuddin, the governor of the neighboring region, confirmed that the dam was under the control of the rebel movement.
“Our security forces requested reinforcements, but they were not able to get them,” he said.
The Taliban’s control of the dam comes after battles in neighboring Helmand province this week, just days after the US military officially began withdrawing its remaining forces in the country.
Turyalai Mahboubi, head of the water department in Kandahar, told AFP that the Taliban had recently warned Dahleh Dam employees not to go to their work.
An AFP correspondent in Kandahar said that last month, gunmen blew up a bridge linking the dam to the neighboring neighborhoods.
The United States built the Dahleh Dam about 70 years ago to provide irrigation water to the lands of about 7 provinces in Kandahar.
In 2019, the Asian Development Bank approved a $ 350 million grant to Afghanistan; To be used in part in the expansion projects of the dam.
The surrounding area has witnessed violent battles in the past six months, but security officials announced, in April, that the area had been cleared.
The officials indicated at the time that, before their withdrawal, the Taliban had planted mines throughout the region, including between residential compounds.
In neighboring Helmand, thousands of people fled their homes after a large-scale Taliban offensive against government forces.
US warplanes provide air support to the Afghan forces, although their withdrawal has begun.
The United States was to have withdrawn all forces, on May 1, according to its agreement with the Taliban, last year, but Washington postponed this step, until September 11; What angered the rebels.
The withdrawal of foreign forces comes amid stalled efforts to reach a peace agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban.