Afghanistan: Taliban control all key cities except Kabul

Taliban control all key cities except Kabul
Many Afghans who have fled the fighting have sought refuge in Kabul. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The Taliban’s aggressive move forward continues as the militant group has become much closer to retaking full control of Afghanistan. Taliban is controlling all the key cities, capital Kabul now the only major city left in government hands.

Taliban fighters took control of Jalalabad on Friday, a key eastern city, without a fight.

It followed the capture of the government’s northern bastion of Mazar-i-Sharif just a day before.

The unprecedented collapse of Afghan Army and other government forces has left President Ashraf Ghani under growing pressure to resign. Taliban took control of the big cities in just last week.

Mr Ghani appears to face a stark choice between a fight or surrender to hold Kabul.

The US is deploying 5,000 soldiers to help evacuate its embassy staff and other civilians from the beleaguered country.

President Biden has defended his decision to escalate the withdrawal process of US forces from Afghanistan, saying he couldn’t justify an “endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict”.

What happened in Jalalabad?

Taliban just overran the city without a shot being fired.

A local Afghan official told Reuters news agency: “There are no clashes taking place right now in Jalalabad because the governor has surrendered to the Taliban.”

Journalist Tariq Ghazniwal tweeted images purportedly showing the governor of the province handing over control to the Taliban.

The capture of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, means the Taliban have secured the roads connecting the country with Pakistan.

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