In a recent development, the Taliban on Friday claimed to have captured Kandahar --- Afghanistan's second-largest city. With the latest capture, only capital and pockets of some other territories are in the government's hands. According to reports, a resident informed Kandahar is wholly conquered, and the Mujahideen reached Martyrs' Square in the city. With this latest capture, the government has now effectively lost control of most of the country. The attack by the insurgents was launched after the United States, and its allies started to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan.  With this development, Washington and London announced moves to quickly pull out their embassy staff and other citizens from the capital on Thursday night. In the previous week, the Taliban took over many provincial capitals and encircled the biggest cities in the north. Pro-Taliban social media accounts have boasted photos of armoured vehicles, heavy weapons and even a drone seized by the insurgents at abandoned military bases. After being under siege for weeks, government forces on Thursday pulled out of Herat -- an ancient silk road city near the Iranian border -- and retreated to a district army barracks. On Thursday, the Afghanistan government confirmed the fall of Ghazni, about 150 kilometres from Kabul and along the major highway to Kandahar and the Taliban heartlands in the south. On Thursday, amid the ongoing fight between the Taliban and Afghan forces, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan finally broke his silence and said that the terror group would not talk to the Afghanistan government until Asharaf Ghani remained president. Earlier, United States President Joe Biden said he does not regret withdrawing and urged Afghan leaders to fight for their homeland. He said that they had spent more than $1 trillion over 20 years, lost thousands of US troops, and continued to provide significant air support, food, equipment, and salaries to Afghan forces.

from asianetnews

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