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The Taliban have captured the strategic Afghan city of Ghazni — just 150 kilometers (95 miles) from the capital, Kabul — according to multiple sources.

The city is the tenth provincial capital to fall to the insurgents in the past week. It provides the militants with a route to the capital from their strongholds in the south.

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In Ghazni, the militants seized key government offices,…..(read more)

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Taliban control more than a quarter of provincial capitals in Afghanistan | DW News

The Taliban have captured the strategic Afghan city of Ghazni — just 150 kilometers (95 miles) from the capital, Kabul — according to multiple sources.

The city is the tenth provincial capital to fall to the insurgents in the past week. It provides the militants with a route to the capital from their strongholds in the south.

In Ghazni, the militants seized key government offices, including that of the governor's office and the police headquarters. They also broke into the province's central prison, local officials told the DPA news agency.

The Taliban posted videos and photos online that showed distinguishing features of the city, purporting to show that they were inside.

Government forces were still said to be in control of the city's intelligence headquarters.

The militants had already been holding two of Ghazni's police districts since around mid-July.

Ghazni has an estimated 180,000 inhabitants and sits on an important ring highway that connects the country's largest cities.

US defense officials have said the Taliban could isolate Kabul within 30 days and possibly overrun it within 90 days.

The insurgents now control more than a quarter of provincial capitals in Afghanistan, having made rapid territorial gains as the US and its allies withdraw ahead of a September deadline.

Thousands of families have now fled from the provinces to escape violence, hoping to find refuge in Kabul.

Afghan government forces have collapsed even more rapidly than thought possible just a few months ago when US President Joe Biden ordered a full withdrawal.

The Taliban's success has fueled Western fears that the Islamists could come to power by force rather than through long-stalled peace talks aimed at establishing a more moderate interim administration.

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#Afghanistan #Taliban #Kabul