Afghanistan: Taliban take control of Jalalabad, Kabul is the only major city still in government hands
Steph Deschamps / August 15, 2021
The Taliban captured the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Sunday morning, residents said, leaving only Kabul, the capital, as the only major city still controlled by the government.
We woke up this morning to the white flags of the Taliban all over town. They are in the city. They entered without fighting, Ahmad Wali, a resident of Jalalabad, told AFP.
The Taliban also claimed responsibility for the city's capture. Moments ago, the mujahideen entered Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province. All areas are now under their control, said Zabihullah Mujahid, one of their spokesmen.
In addition to Kabul, a handful of minor cities are still under government control. But they are scattered and isolated from the capital, and no longer have much strategic value.
In just ten days, the Taliban have taken control of most of the country and have reached the gates of Kabul, which they have now completely surrounded.
By Saturday night, the Taliban had taken Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan's fourth largest city and the main urban center in northern Afghanistan.
The Taliban launched their offensive in May as the final withdrawal of U.S. and foreign troops began, to be completed by August 31.
At first, they took over vast rural areas without encountering much resistance. Then their advance accelerated dramatically in recent days, with many towns falling into their hands almost as easily.