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Iran temporarily shuts consulate general in Afghanistan's Mazar-i-Sharif as violence escalates

ANI | Updated: Aug 12, 2021 19:33 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 12 (ANI): Iran on Thursday announced that it was temporarily closing its Consulate General in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Afghanistan's Balkh province and moving it to Kabul amid the escalating violence between government forces and insurgent Taliban, which has wrested control of 10 provincial capitals in the war-torn country.
Iran's Consulate General in Afghanistan announced the closure, saying that the ongoing fights might cause insecurity in Mazar-i-Sharif city where the diplomatic mission was based, reported Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
Earlier today, Taliban's member Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said the Taliban have captured city of Ghazni, Sputnik reported. It is the tenth provincial city to fall to the Taliban.

The consulate general, however, stressed that it would continue offering services in Kabul for a limited period. As soon as the condition becomes stable, the mission resumes activity in Mazar-i-Sharif, IRNA reported.
Iranian Agency further reported that Iran's Consulate General in the city was attacked in 1998. Several Iranian diplomats and IRNA's correspondent were killed in the attack.
Afghanistan is witnessing a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified its offensive against Afghan forces and civilians with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away.
On Wednesday, President Ashraf Ghani appointed a new chief of army staff in an attempt to give a robust response to the terror group on the ground.
Haibatullah Alizai replaced Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, as the new chief of army staff. Alizai previously worked as commander of the Afghan National Army Commando. (ANI)