Afghan President Ghani Heads to Mazar-i-Sharif to Rally Last Stand; Finance Minister Flees

President Ashraf Ghani went to Mazar-i-Sharif to rally pro-government forces as the Taliban continued to capture more provincial capitals.

In Mazar-i-SharifGhani met with ethnic Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and prominent ethnic Tajik leader Atta Mohammad Noor about making a last stand against the Taliban.

Neighboring Kunduz has already fallen to the Taliban while its soldiers, police, and militia have already surrendered.

The Taliban has already taken nine of the country’s 34 provincial capitals and are continuing their momentum towards Kabul.

If Mazar-i-Sharif falls, the government loses total control of northern Afghanistan and its borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The Taliban already captured Mazar-i-Sharif in the 1990s after Dostum defected from the Northern Alliance.

US officials said they have already expected Kabul to fall sooner than expected while President Joe Biden said he does not regret pulling out troops from Afghanistan.

Amid the ongoing conflict, Afghanistan’s acting finance minister Khalid Payenda resigned and fled the country.

Finance Ministry spokesman Mohammad Rafi Tabe said Payenda left because of the financial problems caused by declining revenues after the Taliban captured custom posts and to reportedly visit his sick wife abroad.

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