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Taliban seize seventh provincial capital

AT News

KABUL: Taliban fighters flooded Farah city, capital of the province of the same name on Tuesday, totally taking control of seven provincial centers in less than a week, with two in the west.

Farah in the west, borders Iran’s province of Southern Khorasan and has been the scene of severe battles between government forces and Taliban militants who had earlier captured several districts.

Government officials did not comment on the fall of Farah city, but Nasser Farahi, a member of parliament confirmed the city fell to insurgents, saying that only the intelligence agency compound and the army’s division are held by government forces.

Also images on social network show Taliban fighters posing in front of the provincial governor’s office.

The Taliban captured Zaranj city, the provincial capital of Nimroz, a neighboring province to Farah on Friday as the first provincial center falling to the insurgents since they launched intensified attacks on the government forces in May after President Joe Biden of the United States announced the withdrawal of their soldiers.

The last American troop is planned to leave Afghanistan on August 31, after being busy for 20 years in the so-called ‘war on terror’. But end of August seems to be a symbolic date and according to many military experts, American soldiers have already exited.

Taliban had taken control of half of Afghanistan’s 400 districts before attacking provincial centers. The militants seized Sheberghan city, provincial capital of Jowzjan in the northwest and hometown and stronghold to powerful marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum who served as vice president in Ghani’s first tenure from 2014 to 2019. The seizure took place on Saturday one day after local militia men under Dostum’s son command drove the insurgents back when they stormed Sheberghan for the first time on Friday.

On Sunday, the Taliban captured Sar-e-Pul city, provincial capital of Sar-e-Pul that was followed by Kunduz the center of province of the same name which fell to insurgents on the same day. Both Sar-e-Pul and Kunduz are northern provinces.

Then the insurgents took control of Taloqan city, capital for Takhar province in the northeast and adjacent to Kunduz.

Aibak, the center of Samangan, another northern province was the last city to fall to militants on Monday.

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