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The Taliban has captured the city of Ghazni, just 80 miles south of Kabul, meaning the Islamist insurgents now control the main Afghan highways north and south of the city as they close in on the government following US troops withdrawal.
The capture which happened on Thursday morning, August 12, comes as Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand, and Kandahar appear on the verge of falling to the jihadists .
The Taliban detonated huge IEDs at Lashkar Gah police headquarters while Kandahar prison with hundreds of inmates was attacked- with Taliban fighters released to rejoin the ranks .
Taliban fighters could be seen filming themselves strolling through the city centre on Thursday morning. ‘Large numbers of soldiers were killed and dozens more surrendered,’ a Taliban spokesman said.
The Taliban is now believed to control two thirds of the country, with the government in retreat in almost every region except Kabul – which is one of the only cities not yet under direct attack.
An Afghan special forces commander in Kabul
Meanwhile Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani is trying to organize a counteroffensive relying on his country’s special forces, the militias of warlords and American airpower.
The U.S. and NATO will officially complete its total withdrawal of troops from the war torn country at the end of the month.
The latest U.S. military intelligence assessment is that Kabul (which holds the US Embassy and several diplomatic offices) could come under insurgent pressure within 30 days and that if current trends hold, the Taliban could gain full control of the country within a couple of months.