The Taliban conquered this Thursday (12) the city of Ghazni, 150 km southwest of Kabul, which becomes the 10th provincial capital of Afghanistan to fall into their power – informed a provincial councilor.
“I can confirm that Ghazni fell into Taliban hands this morning (Thursday). They took control of key areas of the city: the governor’s office, the police headquarters and the prison,” the head of the Council of Ghazni Province, Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, told AFP.
He also said that fighting was still being fought in some parts of the city, but that the Taliban had “majority control”. The rebels also demanded the taking of the location.
Ghazni is the closest provincial capital to Kabul of all those conquered by the insurgents since the launch of their offensive in May, beginning of the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country. The departure of these soldiers is expected to end at the end of August.
The Taliban have advanced at a considerable pace in recent days. Within a week, they took control of 10 of the 34 Afghan provincial capitals. Seven of them are in the north of the country, a region that has managed to resist them in the past.
On Tuesday night, they took Pul and Khumri, capital of Baghlan province, 200 km north of Kabul. With this, they are approaching the capital both from the north and the south.
Ghazni was briefly held by the insurgents in 2018. Now, he symbolizes his most important achievement to date, along with Kunduz, a strategic municipality in the northeast, between Kabul and Tajikistan.
Although the Taliban have long been present in Wardak and Logar provinces, a few dozen kilometers from Kabul, the fall of Ghazni represents an alarming signal for the capital.
This city is also located on the axis connecting Kabul to Kandahar, the second city in the country, to the south. By conquering it, the insurgents can cut the Army’s ground supply lines to the south.
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