With fall of Logar, Taliban close in on Afghanistan’s capital

By Anadolu Agency

After Kandahar, Herat, advancing insurgents claim capturing capitals of Logar, Ghor, Badhis provinces

Making rapid gains over the past few days, the Taliban have now taken control of 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals, sources confirmed on Friday. Following days of heavy clashes, the insurgents captured Afghanistan’s second- and third-largest cities Kandahar and Herat on Thursday, and had advanced on three more provincial capitals by early Friday.

The Taliban have overrun Pul-e-Alam, capital of the eastern Logar province, which lies less than 90 kilometers (55 miles) from Kabul, the group’s spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid claimed in a series of tweets on Friday.

He said the police headquarters and the general prison in the center of Logar have been “conquered,” adding that several soldiers have surrendered and many weapons, including two tanks, have been seized.

Clashes are ongoing in the southern part of Pul-e-Alam, he said in Twitter posts that also had video clips of the insurgents’ advances in Logar, which is the home province of Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

Earlier, the Taliban took control of Feroz Koh, capital of the central Ghor province, as well as Qala-e-Nau, capital of the western Badghis province.

Pul-e-Alam is the 15th provincial capital to be fully or partially overrun by the Taliban, after Kandahar, Lashkargah, Herat, Feroz Koh, Qala-e-Nau, Ghazni, Fayzabad, Aybak, Zaranj, Sheberghan, Kunduz, Pul-e-Khumri, Taluqan, and Sar-e-Pul.