Taliban captures Mazar-i-Sharif, final foremost executive stronghold in Afghanistan’s north

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Taliban militants own seized the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, in response to native officials. Afghanistan’s fourth-largest city had been the final foremost diagram in the north composed below executive preserve a watch on.

Reports counsel the city fell with out warning on Saturday, with officials and some troops fleeing to neighboring Uzbekistan. The capital of the Balkh province, it changed into broadly regarded as as a foremost executive stronghold, nevertheless changed into captured largely with out struggling with, in response to native sources.

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“The Taliban own taken preserve a watch on of Mazar-i-Sharif,” Afzal Hadid, head of the Balkh provincial council told Reuters. “All security forces own left Mazar city.”

There had been perfect sporadic clashes at some stage in the city’s overthrow, Hadid added, nevertheless the safety forces had left in the abet of their equipment and fled towards the border.

All key areas all the contrivance by Mazar-i-Sharif had been “fully conquered,” the Taliban stated. The neighborhood additionally claimed it had captured lavish spoils in the city, seizing “a handsome preference of autos, weapons, and equipment.” It acknowledged that it might per chance well per chance provide extra necessary aspects at the moment.

The abrupt tumble of the city comes perfect two days after Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani visited Mazar-i-Sharif, rallying native groups for the fight towards the Taliban. The fight for the city changed into additionally joined by passe US-allied Uzbek warlord, Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum.

Dostum went to Mazar-i-Sharif on Wednesday, arriving on the then-besieged city on a industrial jet alongside a neighborhood of armed males actual to him. The 67-year-passe warlord has managed to fly the Taliban, in response to his fellow militia commander Ata Mohammad Noor, who blamed the tumble of Mazar-i-Sharif on an “organized and cowardly” diagram allegedly staged by unspecified conspirators.

“They had orchestrated the diagram to entice Marshal Dostum and myself too, nevertheless they didn’t be triumphant,” Noor tweeted. “Marshal Dostum, myself, Balkh Govenor, Balkh MPs, the Head of Balkh Provincial Council and a few pretty a few officials are in a edifying predicament now. I in actuality own different untold experiences that I will share in due route.”

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In fresh days, the Taliban own seized handsome swaths of territory all the contrivance by Afghanistan, shooting more than one provincial capitals. Earlier in the day, it seized the city of Sharana, the capital of the japanese Paktika province, on the Pakistani border. The exiguous province of Kunar, bordering Pakistan, has additionally fallen into the palms of the neighborhood, AP reported, citing native officials. The province changed into surrendered to the neighborhood with out a fight.

The neighborhood additionally seized Pul-e-Alam, the capital of Logar province, honorable south of Kabul. Militants own now reached the outskirts of the national capital, being perfect some 11 kilometers (seven miles) from their final destination. The Taliban now controls quite a lot of the nation’s 34 provinces, with conflicting reports asserting between 20 and 23 are already below Taliban preserve a watch on.

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