THE US and NATO have today issued an open letter to the Taliban, urging them to end their reign of terror as troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan.
The two forces, which are currently involved in peace negotiations in Doha, proclaimed that they “wanted to end the Afghan suffering.”
It came as the United Nations said it “vehemently condemns” the extremist group’s actions which in recent weeks – leading to the deaths of innocent civilians.
The join statement issued on US Embassy Kabul’s Twitter, said : “The Office of NATO and the United States call for an urgent end to the Taliban’s ongoing military offensive, which thwarts the efforts to arrive at a negotiated solution to the conflict and harms to displace of the civilization population.
“We condemn the continued targeted killings, taking place throughout Afghanistan, the destruction of viral infrastructure and threats.
“On behalf of our respective missions, we vehemtly condemn these and other actions that violate the human rights of Afghan citizens.
It concluded: “We join the United Nations Assistance in calling on the Taliban and all parties to immediately end the violence, agree to permanent and compressive ceasefire and engage fully in peace negotiations to end the suffering of the Afghan people.”
It comes as the US embassy in Kabul itself faces increases safety concerns as Western forces continue their withdrawal.
Both US & UK troops started to pulled out of the war-torn nation earlier this month following a peace deal that paved their exit.
But as a result, Taliban have grown in stature and seized swathes of territory, with an estimated control of 85 per cent of Afghanistan.
It has forced thousands of soldiers to flee or surrender amid the capturing an arsenal of US heavy weapons.
The Islamists have already encircled ten major cities and skirmishes have broken out in the southern towns of Ghazni and Lashkah Gar, and Pul-e-Khumri and Taluqan in the north.
Fighters have also surrounded the former British home base of Kandahar in Helmand province, and were recently pictured taunting US soldiers as they raided a former army gym.
In several districts, militants have broken into jails, releasing inmates to join their ranks while occupying abandoned homes.
The conflict is also leading to food shortage, one Afghani resident in Helmand province told The Times.
“Civilians are suffering. Mortar shells are everywhere. We are trapped in our homes and running short of food,” he said.
“We do not want the Taliban to occupy this city again, but the way they are taking control of dozens of districts it seems government forces are surrendering.”
“The Taliban presence is felt everywhere in Kandahar city but they have not managed to enter the city yet. We can hear sporadic gunfire to the west and southwest,” Taimoor Shah, a journalist living in the city said.
Elsewhere, families, including women and children, have also fled areas of the country as the Taliban demanded Afghans marry off their teen daughters as sex slaves to fighters in the terror group, reports claim.
According to reports, the Taliban promised for them to be married to fighters and transported to Vaziristan, Pakistan, where they will be converted to Islam and reintegrated.
“All imams and mullahs in captured areas should provide the Taliban with a list of girls above 15 and widows under 45 to be married to Taliban fighters,” the letter reportedly reads, issued in the name of the Taliban’s Cultural Commission.