The Taliban on Sunday captured Kunduz, Sar-e-Pol and Taloqan in Afghanistan.
Taliban flag flying over the main square of Kunduz city (AFP)
The Taliban have captured three more provincial capitals in Afghanistan. After capturing rural parts of the country in recent months, the Taliban have now turned to the cities. Since Friday, the Taliban have captured five provincial capitals in Afghanistan. The Taliban and officials in the cities confirmed that Kunduz, Sar-e-Pol and Taloqan in the north were captured by the Taliban on Sunday. The Taliban said in a statement that it had seized the police headquarters, the governor’s compound and a prison in the strategic northeastern city of Kunduz.
Amaruddin Wali, a member of the Kunduz provincial assembly, said that since Saturday afternoon, there was a heavy clash. All government headquarters are under Taliban control. Only the army base and airport are in the hands of the Afghan Security Force, from where they are taking action against the Taliban. Local leaders have confirmed that Taliban fighters are in the capital. Health officials in Kunduz have said that 14 bodies and 30 injured, including women and children, have been taken to the hospital. A doctor told that we do not know what is going on outside, because all our attention is still on the patients.
What is the status of Saar-e-Pol?
In a statement on Sunday, the Taliban said they had also captured Sar-e-Pol, the provincial capital and main city of the northern province of Sar-e-Pol. Provincial council member Mohammad Noor Rahmani told Reuters that Taliban fighters had captured government buildings in the provincial capital. Because of this, the officers had to flee to the army base. Parveena Azimi, a women’s rights activist, told AFP that government officials and the remaining security personnel had moved to a base three kilometers from the city. Taliban fighters are seen all around.
What is the status of Talokan?
On Sunday evening itself, the Taliban said on Twitter that it had captured Talokan, the capital of Takhar province. Talokan resident Zabiullah Hamidi told AFP he saw security forces and officials in vehicles leaving the city. We withdrew from the city this afternoon after the government failed to send help, a security source said. Unfortunately, the city is completely in the hands of the Taliban. The Taliban seized the provinces of Nimruj and Jawajjan over the past two days before the Sunday capture. Kunduz had gone under Taliban control in 2015 and 2016 as well.
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