MAP: How and when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan
After conquering 26 of the country’s 34 provincial capitals in the last ten days, the Taliban armed group is fighting for power in Afghanistan.
In May, as foreign forces began to leave the country, the armed group, which was deposed in a US-led invasion in 2001, stepped up its drive to depose the Western-backed government.
Following maps show how and when the Taliban took control of 26 of the country’s 34 provincial capitals:
The Taliban took control of at least seven capital cities on Sunday, including Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, before encircling Kabul.
Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province
As it seized control of the whole north of the country, Taliban forces captured Mazar-i-Sharif, the country’s fourth-largest city with a powerful defense.
Lashkar Gah, Helmand province
The Taliban conquered six capital cities on Friday, including the seat of Helmand province in the south. According to the security source, military and government authorities had departed the city after reaching an agreement with the group.
Qal-e-Naw, Badghis province
According to Al Jazeera’s Ali M Latifi, the Taliban also took control of Qal-e-Naw, the capital of western Badghis province. “The group temporarily took control of the capital earlier this summer before the government recaptured it in a matter of hours,” he said.
Feruz Koh, Ghor province
According to officials, Taliban insurgents took control of Feruz Koh city in Afghanistan’s western province of Ghor without violence.
Pul-e-Alam, Logar province
The Taliban captured the capital of the central province of Logar and captured the governor and the head of the city’s spy agency.
Terakot, Uruzgan province
The governor of the southern Uruzgan province fled to Kabul after the city was captured.
Qalat, Zabul province
Over the span of a week, the seat of Zabul province in southern Afghanistan became the 18th city to fall to the Taliban.
Ghazni, Ghazni province
Ghazni, the capital of the southeastern province of Ghazni, collapsed on Thursday following severe battles around 130 kilometres (80 miles) southwest of the national capital, Kabul.
Herat, Herat province
After two weeks of conflict, the Taliban captured the capital of Herat province in western Afghanistan, the country’s third-largest city.
Kandahar, Kandahar province
In a major setback for Afghan government forces, the Taliban claimed to have conquered Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city and a former Taliban stronghold.
Faizabad, Badakhshan province
According to an official, the Taliban have taken control of another city in northern Afghanistan, making it the group’s ninth province capital in as many days. Tajikistan, Pakistan, and China all share Badakhshan’s borders.
Farah, Farah province
After a brief battle with security forces, the capital of the southwestern province surrendered to the Taliban, according to local sources. According to MP Abdul Nasri Farahi, the Taliban have taken control of the province’s central prison. Farah’s capture also provided the group with another border crossing into Iran.
Pul-e-Khumri, Baghlan province
According to Mamoor Ahmadzai, a politician, the capital of the northern province of Baghlan, roughly 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of Kabul, fell to the Taliban after about two hours of battle. With the takeover of Pul-e-Khumri, the Taliban now control a trifecta of northern provinces.
Aybak, Samangan province
Samangan, the seat of Afghanistan’s northern province, was the sixth provincial capital to fall in four days. Samangan was once considered one of Afghanistan’s safest provinces, with only minor Taliban presence.
Sar-e-Pul, Sar-e-Pul province
The Taliban have taken control of the northern capital of Sar-e-Pul. It was the first of three provincial capitals to fall within a few hours of one another. According to Mohammad Noor Rahmani, a member of Sar-e-Pul province’s provincial council, the group had taken control of government premises in the capital, forcing officials to flee to a nearby military base.
Kunduz, Kunduz province
Taliban forces have taken control of Afghanistan’s fifth-largest city, which has a population of 270,000 people. Kunduz is a strategic prize since it is located at the crossroads of mineral-rich northern regions and Central Asia.
Taluqan, Takhar province
In the evening, the Taliban took control of the capital of Takhar province, also in the north. They were successful in freeing prisoners and forcing government leaders to escape.
Sheberghan, Jawzjan province
The Taliban claimed to have taken control of the whole northern province of Jawzjan, including Sheberghan, its capital. Heavy combat was reported in the city, and the Taliban took control of government premises.The city is home to notorious strongman Abdul Rashid Dostum, who just returned to Afghanistan after having medical treatment in Turkey, lives in the city.
Zaranj, Nimruz province
Since the Taliban began attacking Afghan forces in early May, the city of Zaranj has been the first provincial capital to fall to them. Nimruz province shares a border with Iran and Pakistan, and Zaranj is considered among the war-scarred country’s famed historical cities.
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