The Taliban on Thursday claimed to have seized Herat, Afghanistan’s third-largest city amid US troop withdrawal from the country. Herat “was also captured,” Sputnik reported citing a Taliban statement. Buildings in the province, including the police headquarters, came under Taliban control, and government forces “laid down their arms,” it added.
Local media and journalists posted images and videos of Afghan forces fleeing from the city in the western part of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reported that Taliban has entered Kandahar city. Some local residents told the media outlet that the situation in Afghanistan’s second-largest city was “dire”, as intense fighting rages between rebels and government forces inside the city limits.
Earlier today, the Taliban captured Ghazni, the country’s tenth provincial city to fall under Taliban control. Afghanistan is witnessing a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified its offensive against Afghan forces and civilians with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away. Due to rising violence in the country by the Taliban, the situation is deteriorating badly as the terror group has been looting people and killing civilians after capturing multiple areas from the government.
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The Taliban escalated its offensive against the Afghan forces soon after the US forces started leaving Afghanistan in large numbers after the peace deal signed between Washington and the Taliban in February last year.
On Wednesday, President Ashraf Ghani appointed a new chief of army staff in an attempt to give a robust response to the terror group on the ground. Haibatullah Alizai replaced Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai, as the new chief of army staff. Alizai previously worked as commander of the Afghan National Army Commando.
(With ANI Inputs)