Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (centre) during an inauguration in Kabul, Afghanistan. Reuters
Gulf Today Report
Afghan forces battle to stop a first major city from falling to the Taliban as the United States and Britain accuse the insurgents of "massacring civilians" in a town they recently captured near the Pakistan border.
On the other hand Taliban said that Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani's "time has run out".
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid accused Ghani of lying and spreading false information as reacting to Ghani's remark on Monday that the ongoing war is an external intrigue imposed on the people of Afghanistan.
A tweet by Mujahid said that his (Ghani's) time is over and the announcement of warfare will not survive him.
Mullah Abdul Ghani (2nd left) arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for talks in Moscow. File/AP
"Speech by @ashrafghani is nonsense, an attempt to control his fears & dire situation. Nation has decided to pursue & bring national traitors to justice. Declarations of war, accusations & lies cannot prolong Ghani's life, his time has run out, God willing," Mujahid said.
Meanwhile, the US and British embassies in Kabul said on Monday the insurgent Taliban may have committed war crimes in southern Afghanistan by carrying out revenge murders of civilians, a charge denied by the insurgents.
Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban negotiating team member based in Doha, told the media that tweets containing the accusations were "baseless reports."
The tweets, accompanied by calls for a ceasefire, stepped up the United States' public criticism of the group as US troops withdraw and the Taliban presses a nationwide offensive.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, briefing reporters on Monday on a new US refugee program for US-affiliated Afghans, called reports of the Taliban committing atrocities "deeply disturbing and totally unacceptable."
US Marines board a C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft headed to Kandahar at Lashkar Gah. AFP
The US mission tweeted a statement accusing the Taliban of killing dozens of civilians in the area of Spin Boldak in southern Kandahar province, the scene of heavy fighting. The statement also was tweeted by the British embassy.
"These murders could constitute war crimes; they must be investigated & those Taliban fighters or commanders responsible held accountable," the U.S. embassy tweeted.
Ghani during his speech in an exclusive gathering of the National Council – Parliament and Senate -- said that the ongoing war is an external intrigue imposed on the people of Afghanistan and security forces are capable of repelling it.
The Afghan President said that he is predicting both opportunities and dangers but reiterated that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have the ability to be solidified and return to the desired stance in the upcoming six months, media reports said.
Ghani also claimed to have sacrificed too much for durable and just peace in Afghanistan besides taking unprecedented decisions for the cause.
He praised the families which have lost their loved ones in fighting the Taliban and expressed pride of being the commander-in-chief of ANDSF in such a historic period.
Tens of thousands of people flee their homes for the relative safety of Kabul and other centres after Taliban militants captured a sixth provincial capital, along with border towns and trade routes.
Fighting has raged across several provinces, but the insurgents have primarily focused on a devastating campaign across the northern countryside, seizing dozens of districts in the past two months.
The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul.
Social media users and residents have called local authorities to honour Matute for his heroic act.
The ministry stated that anti-begging agents in the capital Amman had seized a number of beggars who own property and establishments and have high monthly incomes.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced the launch of the National Seasonal Flu awareness campaign under the theme "Protecting yourself... protects your community."