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Taliban capture all major cities in Afghanistan, only Kabul remains

Taliban capture all major cities in Afghanistan, only Kabul remains

The Taliban on Sunday captured the strategic eastern city of Jalalabad without firing a shot as the Afghanistan army did not put up any resistance. This leaves Kabul as the only major city under the control of the Afghanistan government, according to BBC News. 

The capture of Jalalabad gives the Taliban complete control over the roads connecting the country with Pakistan.

President Ashraf Ghani now appears to be cornered and is under increasing pressure to resign. 

The takeover of Jalalabad comes just a day after the Taliban’s takeover of the government's northern bastion of Mazar-i-Sharif where warlords Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ata Mohammad Noor were helping the Afghan army and putting up a strong resistance. 

Abas Ebrahimzada, a lawmaker from the Balkh province where the city is located, said the national army surrendered first, which prompted pro-government militias and other forces to lose morale and give up in the face of a Taliban onslaught, according to an AP  report. 

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Ebrahimzada said Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ata Mohammad Noor, former warlords who command thousands of fighters, had fled the province and their whereabouts were unknown. 

On Saturday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had in his first public appearance since the Taliban blitzkrieg, vowed on TV not to give up the “achievements” of the 20 years since the U.S. toppled the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks.

The U.S. has continued holding peace talks between the government and the Taliban in Qatar this week, and the international community has warned that a Taliban government installed through military force would not be recognised. However, the insurgents are bashing on regardless with their string of victories on the battlefield.