Two provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban within 24 hours, local officials confirmed to The National.
Government-aligned forces retreated from Sheberghan in Jowzjan province in the north on Saturday.
This came a day after Zaranj, the capital of the south-western Nimruz province – a key border town – was also seized by the insurgents.
Jowzjan, which is a stronghold of Abdul Rashid Dostum, the former Afghan vice president, was being defended by his son Yar Mohammad Dostum, along with members of a local volunteer force that had mobilised to fight the Taliban.
“They have entered Sheberghan and taken control of government facilities and buildings,” a local government employee who identified as Abdul Rauf told The National.
“The only area they don’t have control of is Bandar Aqina, which is a key border crossing,” he added, referring to a border town that lies between Jowzjan and Faryab province. It is about 100 kilometres from Sheberghan.
“Marshal Dostum’s older son, Yar Mohammad Dostum, is leading a resistance effort along with local militia groups and government forces, but the Taliban are still in control of large parts of Sherberghan,” Mr Rauf said.
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