The Taliban has captured three provincial capitals in Afghanistan in a day as the militants continue to make rapid territorial gains in the country in recent months.
The Taliban claimed on their official Twitter account that they have seized control of the northern cities of Kunduz, Sar-e Pul, and Taloqan within hours of each other on Aug. 8.
Kunduz is the Taliban’s most important gain this year as the city is well-connected to other areas, including the country’s capital, Kabul.
Amrudddin Wali, a member of Kunduz provincial assembly, reportedly said that the Taliban has seized control of all government forces in the city, excluding the army base and the airport, which remain to be with the Afghan security forces.
According to health officials in Kunduz, 14 bodies and over 30 injured people have been brought to the hospital.
Meanwhile in Sar-e-Pol, women’s rights activist Parwina Azimi told AFP News by phone that government officials and security forces had retreated to an army barrack about three kilometers from the city.
In Taloqan, a security source told AFP News that they retreated from the city “after the government failed to send help,” adding that it has fallen “fully in Taliban hands.”
The recent capture of the three cities means that the Taliban has now seized five provincial capitals since Aug. 6.
On Aug. 6, the deputy governor of the city of Nimruz said that it fell to the militants “without a fight.”
Then, on Aug. 7, the deputy governor of Sheberghan said that the Taliban captured the city.
The Taliban has made rapid advances in recent months after the United States, as well as other international forces, began to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan.
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