Ninth provincial capital falls to Taliban as blitz takes Afghan forces by surprise

12:55 PM | 11 Aug, 2021
Ninth provincial capital falls to Taliban as blitz takes Afghan forces by surprise

KABUL – Three more provincial capitals fall to the Taliban as insurgents captured their ninth provincial capital of the country's 34 provinces.

Reports in international media quoting officials cited that the Taliban took over Badakhshan's Faizabad city around midnight after more than a week of fighting. The captured nine provincial capitals in Afghanistan since Friday include Faizabad, Farah, Pul-e-Khumri, Sar-e-Pul, Sheberghan, Aybak, Kunduz, Taluqan, and Zaranj.

Top officials and security forces stationed in the captured city have been able to retreat to the Warsaj district where security forces from Taluqan had retreated three days ago. Meanwhile, the families of all government forces have either escaped or are hiding following the collapse of the ninth provincial capital.

With the collapse of Faizabad, a city with an estimated population of over 78,000, the insurgents have already gained vast parts of rural Afghanistan since launching a series of offensives with the start of the final withdrawal of NATO troops.

In another major development, the Afghan army chief, General Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai has been removed and the post of the top military commander is taken by General Haibatullah Alizai.

Furthermore, Afghan sources in Kunduz confirm that the Taliban have taken the control of the provincial airport and that members of the Afghan National Security Forces have surrendered to the group. Earlier, Taliban fighters have seized Afghanistan’s borders with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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