The Taliban* has made significant gains in Afghanistan in recent months following the US announcement of a troop withdrawal from the country. The terrorist group has seized nearly 90% of the country and surrounded the capital Kabul.
Details of the Taliban’s* capture of Jalalabad – the fifth-largest city in Afghanistan and the capital of Nangarhar province – have emerged. A source in the terrorist organisation has claimed that the group has taken control over key points in the city, namely capturing the local police headquarters.
The city, located 100 kilometres from Kabul, has reportedly fallen to the Taliban without a fight, a local source told the AFP.
Jalalabad was one of two major cities, the other being Kabul, under government control after the Taliban seized Mazar-i-Sharif – a financial centre in the country – on 14 August. The terrorist movement’s forces have already reached Kabul’s outskirts. Reuters reported that the Taliban has sent representatives to the city to negotiate the surrender of President Ashraf Ghani’s government. The latter is reportedly also holding talks with US and NATO representatives.
The Taliban’s offensive against Kabul started amid the withdrawal of US and NATO forces. Without help from Western troops, the Afghan government lost numerous provinces in a matter of months, with government security forces often surrendering or switching sides instead of fighting the Taliban. The US said it would finish withdrawing its forces by 31 August and is currently evacuating its embassy in Kabul using the military.