Afghanistan: mapping the advance of the Taliban

Afghanistan: mapping the advance of the Taliban

The Taliban armed group is aiming for power after entering the capital Kabul, capturing 26 of the country’s 34 provincial capitals in the past 10 days.
The armed group, which was overthrown from power in a 2001 US invasion, stepped up its campaign to defeat the Western-backed government in May as foreign forces began to withdraw from the country .

Here’s an animated map showing how and when the Taliban captured 26 of the country’s 34 provincial capitals:

Below is a more detailed breakdown of how each of the provincial capitals fell to the Taliban.

August 15th

On Sunday, the Taliban captured at least seven capitals, including Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province before surrounding the capital Kabul.

August 14th

Mazar-i-Sharif, province de Balkh

Taliban fighters have captured Mazar-i-Sharif – the country’s fourth city with strong defense, as it has taken control of the entire north of the country.

Aug 13

Lashkar Gah, province de Helmand

The capital of Helmand province in the south was among six successive capitals captured by the Taliban during the day Friday. Military and government officials evacuated the town after reaching an agreement with the group, the security source said.

Qal-e-Naw, province de Badghis

The Taliban also captured Qal-e-Naw, the capital of western Badghis province, Ali M Latifi of Al Jazeera reported. “Earlier in the summer, the group briefly took control of the capital before the government took it back within hours,” he said.

Feruz Koh, province de Ghor

Taliban fighters have taken control of the town of Feruz Koh in Ghor province in western Afghanistan without any fighting, officials said.

Pul-e-Alam, province of Logar

The Taliban seized the capital of the central province of Logar and captured the governor and the head of the city’s spy agency.

Terracotta, province of Uruzgan

The capital of the southern province of Uruzgan is captured and the governor fled to Kabul.

Qalat, province de Zaboul

The capital of Zabul province in southern Afghanistan became the 18th city to fall to the Taliban within a week.

12 august

Taliban fighters are pictured in an Afghan National Directorate of Security vehicle on a street in Kandahar on August 13, 2021 [AFP]

Ghazni, Ghazni province

The capital of the southeastern province of Ghazni, about 130 km (80 miles) southwest of the national capital, Kabul, fell on Thursday after heavy clashes.

Herat, province of Herat

The capital of the western province of Herat, the third largest city, fell to the Taliban after two weeks of fighting.

Kandahar, Kandahar Province

The Taliban claimed to have captured Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city and a former Taliban stronghold, which was a blow to Afghan government forces.

August 11

Faizabad, province du Badakhchan

The Taliban have taken control of another city in northern Afghanistan, an official said, making it the ninth provincial capital to fall to the group in six days. Badakhshan borders Tajikistan, Pakistan and China.

August 10

Farah, province de Farah

Local sources confirmed the fall of the capital of the southwestern province to the Taliban after brief clashes with security forces. The Taliban have captured the central prison in the province, according to parliamentarian Abdul Nasri Farahi. The capture of Farah also provided another border crossing into Iran for the group.

Pul-e-Khumri, province de Baghlan

The northern provincial capital of Baghlan, about 200 km (125 miles) north of the capital Kabul, fell to the Taliban after about two hours of fighting, according to Mamoor Ahmadzai, a lawmaker. The capture of Pul-e-Khumri gave the Taliban a trio of bordering northern provinces.

August 9

Aybak, province de Samangan

The capital of the northern province of Samangan was the sixth Afghan provincial capital to fall in four days. Samangan was once known to be one of the safest provinces in Afghanistan, with minimal Taliban presence.

August 8

Internally displaced Afghan families, who fled Kunduz and Takhar provinces due to fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces, collect food in Kabul on August 9, 2021 [File: Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

Sar-e-Pul, province of Sar-e-Pul

The Taliban have taken control of the capital Sar-e-Pul in the north. It was the first of three provincial centers to fall within hours of each other. According to Mohammad Noor Rahmani, a member of the provincial council of Sar-e-Pul province, the group had taken government buildings in the capital, driving city officials to a nearby military base.

Kunduz, province of Kunduz

Taliban fighters have taken control of the northern city of 270,000, the fifth largest city in Afghanistan. Considered a strategic take, Kunduz is located at the gateway to the mineral-rich northern provinces and Central Asia.

Taluqan, Takhar province

The capital of Takhar province, also in the north, fell to the Taliban in the evening. They released prisoners and forced government officials to flee.

August 7

Sheberghan, province de Jawzjan

The Taliban said they captured the entire northern province of Jawzjan, including its capital Sheberghan. Heavy fighting was reported in the city and government buildings were raided by the Taliban. The city is home to notorious strongman Abdul Rashid Dostum, who had recently returned to Afghanistan after receiving medical treatment in Turkey.

August 6

Zaranj, province de Nimruz

The city of Zaranj was the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban since it stepped up its attacks on Afghan forces in early May. Nimruz province shares a border with Iran and Pakistan, and Zaranj is considered one of the famous historic towns in the war-torn country.


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