Taliban took control of nine provincial capitals
KABUL: Taliban militants entered two more provincial capitals in northern region late on Tuesday, the latest in their rapid advances and altogether taken the control of nine provincial capitals of Afghanistan, reported local media on Wednesday.
“Taliban militants overran Pul-e-Khumri city, capital of northern Baghlan province and Faizabad city, capital of neighboring Badakhshan province on Tuesday evening,” reported Tolo News TV channel. The Afghan government has not confirmed or denied the report so far.
With the fall of the two cities, the Taliban militants have taken control over nine provincial capitals, out of 34 provincial centers.
The said cities have been the scene of heavy clashes in recent weeks as government security forces continued heavy fighting to prevent Taliban from advancing.
Earlier on Wednesday, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani travelled to Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of northern Balkh province. A security meeting was underway in the city. Taliban militants have presence around the city, trying to capture Mazar-i-Sharif.
Security situation in the war-torn country has deteriorated as Taliban militants continue heavy fighting against government forces and gain ground since the drawdown of US troops from May 1.
In Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, thousands of displaced families arrived from northern region, living in open grounds and public parks.
Since the start of the year, nearly 360,000 people have been forcibly displaced by the conflict, and about 5 million people have been displaced since 2012, according to figures provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Afghanistan.-Xinhua
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