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Taliban militants seize strategic city of Ghazni

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12 Aug 2021 5:51 AM GMT
Taliban militants seize strategic city of Ghazni
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 Taliban militants have overrun the provincial capital of Afghanistan’s south-eastern province of Ghazni, officials said on Thursday. The insurgents have taken control of more than a quarter of the country’s provincial capitals, making rapid territorial gains as the U.S. and its allies withdraw from the country. In Ghazni, the militants seized the most important government […]

Taliban militants have overrun the provincial capital of Afghanistan’s south-eastern province of Ghazni, officials said on Thursday.

The insurgents have taken control of more than a quarter of the country’s provincial capitals, making rapid territorial gains as the U.S. and its allies withdraw from the country.

In Ghazni, the militants seized the most important government offices, including the governor’s office and police headquarters.

They also broke into the province’s central prison, according to local councillors, Nasir Ahmad Faqiri and Amanullah Kamran.

The councillors accused the governor of making a deal with the Taliban to abandon the city to the militants.

According to the officials, only a small number of government forces stationed in the intelligence agency of the city were resisting the Taliban.

Across the country, Afghan security forces have been overwhelmed by the Taliban onslaught and military resources were stretched thin, prompting worries about the fate of the capital Kabul.

The city of Ghazni has an estimated 180,000 inhabitants and is located on the important ring road that connects the largest cities in the country.

Because of its proximity to Kabul, the Taliban had tried several times to bring it under their control.

The militants had been holding two police districts in the city since around mid-July.

In the summer of 2018, more than 100 police officers and soldiers and around 20 civilians were killed in a major attack on the city by more than 1,000 Taliban fighters.

With the collapse of Ghazni, the Taliban now controls 10 provincial capitals of the country’s 34 provinces.

All of these cities have been captured within less than a week.

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