Over half-a-dozen provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban in recent days amid the continued disintegration of resistance by the Afghan army. The militants began their advance against government forces in April, after the US and its NATO allies started to withdraw from the war-torn country after over 19 years of war.
The Taliban* has captured Puli Khumri, a key city situated along an important strategic junction linking Kabul to areas to the capital’s north and west, government officials have confirmed.
The militant group is said to have broken through the front lines in several directions on Tuesday afternoon, with government security forces and officials abandoning the city and its environs, including the local police headquarters. “We are deciding where to retreat now,” the unnamed official said.
Unverified footage circulating online appears to show the Islamist militants celebrating after entering the city, chanting “Allah Akbar.”
Puli Khumri is the capital of Baghlan province, and is the eighth provincial center to fall to the Taliban in less than a week’s time.
Earlier Tuesday, Afghani media outlet TOLOnews reported that the attack on Puli Khumri had been pushed back, with Baghlan province governor maintaining that the Taliban had “retreated after suffering heavy casualties.”
Despite enjoying overwhelming superiority in numbers, equipment and training, Afghan government forces have…