Taliban captures Mazar-i-Sharif, last major government stronghold in Afghanistan’s north

Taliban militants have seized the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, according to local officials. Afghanistan’s fourth-largest city had been the last major location in the north still under government control.

Reports suggest the city fell abruptly on Saturday, with officials and some troops fleeing to neighboring Uzbekistan. The capital of the Balkh province, it was widely regarded as a major government stronghold, but was captured largely without fighting, according to local sources.

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“The Taliban have taken control of Mazar-i-Sharif,” Afzal Hadid, head of the Balkh provincial council told Reuters. “All security forces have left Mazar city.”

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There were only sporadic clashes during the city’s overthrow, Hadid added, but the security forces had left behind their equipment and fled towards the border.

All key locations across Mazar-i-Sharif have been “completely conquered,” the Taliban said. The group also claimed it had captured lavish spoils in the city, seizing “a large number of vehicles, weapons, and equipment.” It stated that it would provide further details shortly.

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Source:RT World News

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