The Taliban have captured the key southern city of Lashkar Gah, a senior Afghan security source told AFP on Friday, confirming a claim by the insurgents.
Military and government officials had evacuated the city after striking a deal with the militants, the security source told AFP.
The Taliban claimed Friday to have captured Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, which would leave just the capital and pockets of other territory in the government’s hands.
“Kandahar is completely conquered. The Mujahideen reached Martyrs’ Square in the city,” a Taliban spokesman tweeted on an officially recognised account — a claim backed by a resident, who told AFP government forces appeared to have withdrawn en masse to a military facility outside the city.
The claim was backed up by a resident, who told AFP government forces appeared to have withdrawn en masse to a military facility outside the southern city.
The government has now effectively lost control of most of the country, following an eight-day blitz into urban centres by the Taliban that has left the Afghan government and its US backers stunned.
The offensive was launched after the United States and its allies all but withdrew its forces from Afghanistan, with President Joe Biden determined to end two decades of war by September 11.
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