Taliban claim capture of second provincial capital

Taliban spokesperson claims fighters have seized the governor office, police HQ, intelligence HQ in Sheberghan

News Desk August 07, 2021
An Afghan policeman keeps watch at the check post on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan July 13, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Afghan Taliban on Saturday claimed the capture of Sheberghan, capital of the northern Jowzjan province.

The spokesperson for the group also claimed that fighters had seized the governor office, police headquarters, intelligence headquarters and other related buildings from Afghan forces and the militia loyal to former Northern Alliance warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum. 

However, the claim could not be independently verified. 

Earlier, it was reported that at least 10 Afghan soldiers and a commander of armed members belonging to the Dostum's militia group in the northern province of Jowzjan were killed.

The deputy governor of Jowzjan, Abdul Qader Malia, had stated that the Taliban attacked the outskirts of provincial capital Sheberghan this week.

A day earlier, the Taliban had captured the provincial capital of Zaranj in the southern province of Nimroz. 

The insurgents have taken dozens of districts and border crossings in recent months and put pressure on several provincial capitals, including Herat in the west and Kandahar in the south, as foreign forces pull out.

Zaranj was the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban since the United States reached a deal with it in February 2020 for a US troop pullout.

Taliban sources said the group was celebrating and Zaranj's fall would lift the morale of their fighters. A Taliban commander, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Zaranj has strategic importance as it is on the border with Iran.



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