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Afghanistan war: Taliban capture city of Kunduz

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Afghan security personnel fighting against the Taliban in the outskirsts of Kunduz city. 12 July 2021

Reuters via BBC

The Taliban have captured the key northern Afghan city of Kunduz, one of the country’s largest, after fierce fighting with government forces.

A local official told the BBC all but the city’s airport had fallen to the militants. The group’s flag was seen raised in the city centre.

Chaotic scenes have been reported with buildings and shops ablaze.

Four regional capitals have now fallen to the Taliban since Friday. Kunduz is their most important gain this year.

The militants also fought their way into another northern city, Sar-e-Pul, which was captured within hours of Kunduz. Afghan officials insist their forces still remain in the cities that have fallen, and fighting is ongoing.

Violence has escalated across Afghanistan after US and other international forces began to withdraw their troops from the country, following 20 years of military operations.

Taliban militants have made rapid advances in recent weeks. Having captured large swathes of the countryside, they are now targeting key towns and cities.

There is also heavy fighting in Herat in the west, and the southern cities of Kandahar and Lashkar Gah.

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