President dismisses Kunduz governor after city fall
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani dismissed the governor of northern Kunduz province and appointed his deputy Hamdullah Danishi as the acting governor on Wednesday, three days after Kunduz’s capital city fell to the Taliban.
Kunduz governor Mohammad Omar Safi was abroad when Kunduz City was captured by hundreds of Taliban militants who mounted a three-pronged attack on the strategic urban centre on the night between Sunday and Monday and captured the entire city late on Monday.
Safi, who returned to Kabul on Wednesday after media reports claimed he had fled to Europe after changing several destinations, was removed as the Kunduz governor by President Ghani through issuing a decree, appointing Danishi as acting governor.
The reports about Omar’s fleeing to Europe was widely criticized on social media, with some accusing him of taking bribe in exchange for handing Kunduz City over to the Taliban.
The presidential decree called Danishi as highly educated and experienced person.
The Taliban, who have been in control of Kunduz city since Monday, tightened their grip on the city on Wednesday when they captured the strategic fortress Bala Hisar. Kunduz police said the Afghan forces retreated from Bala Hisar in the afternoon. The Taliban had laid siege to Bala Hisar for the last three days, asking the security forces to surrender, but they did not.
Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz on Wednesday said so far 30 people had died and more than 200 hospitalized in Kunduz City with gunshots.
Taliban militants reportedly patrolled the city on Wednesday in vehicles and on foot and used mosque loadspeakers to tell residents that they would not be caused harm. But residents said they faced a number of problems including water and food shortages as all shops and roads had been closed. The UN and foreign NGOs airlifted workers from the city on Monday. Most of the security forces have massed on the airport, which remains free from Taliban control.
President Ghani on Tuesday urged the Afghans to trust in their national security forces that they had the ability to beat back the insurgents and retake the city. He had said some reinforcements had reached Kunduz and others were on their way there.
The president on Wednesday also decreed the appointment of Hamidullah Afghan as the mayor of eastern Nangarhar province. The decree said Afghan’s appointment as the mayor had been recommended by the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG).
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