Afghanistan: Taliban controls 3 more major cities, nears Kabul

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Taliban sweep across Afghanistan's south, take 4 more cities

The Afghan Taliban said their members overran three more major cities on Friday, after they have taken control over a dozen cities in Afghanistan within a week.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, wrote on his social media account that they captured Tirin Kot, capital of southern Uruzgan province, and Firoz Koah, capital of western Ghor province. With both Kandahar and Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, in their hands, the Taliban now effectively control southern Afghanistan.

He also said most parts of Pul-e-Alam, capital of eastern Logar province, has fallen to Taliban, adding that clashes continued at an intelligence agency office and two army bases at midday on Friday.

Pul-e-Alam, about 60 km south of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, has been the scene of heavy clashes since early Friday when Taliban stormed the city from different locations.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s defense ministry said in a statement earlier Friday that at least 21 Taliban members were killed following an airstrikeon the outskirts of provincial capital Pul-e-Alam.

A militants’ vehicle, weapons and ammunition were destroyed by the raid, which was carried out by the Afghan Air Force, according to the defense ministry statement.

No fighting was reported in two other seized provincial centers, according to media reports.
The Afghan government has not confirmed the claim by the Taliban so far.

In western Herat province, Taliban said that Ismahil Khan, a former anti-Soviet jihadi leader, together with provincial officials, military commanders and hundreds of soldiers surrendered to the Taliban members.

The Taliban members captured Herat city late on Thursday.

Earlier in August, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) expressed deep concerns about the safety of civilians in several provincial capitals for fear that tens of thousands were trapped by fighting.

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