Kabul [Afghanistan]: Taliban on Thursday captured Afghanistan's third-largest city Herat as the US and NATO prepare to withdraw entirely from the country after decades of war, reported news agency AFP.
"Taliban take Herat, Afghanisatan's third-largest city, government forces and administration retreated," AFP quoted a security official as saying.
Earlier, the news agency reported that the terrorist organisation had taken over the police headquarters in the city which is located in western Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reported that Taliban has entered Kandahar city. Some local residents told the media outlet that the situation in Afghanistan's second-largest city was "dire", as intense fighting is going on between the insurgents and government forces inside the city limits.
An Al Jazeera reporter, who is reporting from Kabul, said that the Taliban on Twitter claimed to have taken over Kandahar. It is often said that those who control the strategic city, control Afghanistan.
Earlier today, the Taliban captured the tenth provincial city of Ghazni, just 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Kabul.
For the unversed, Afghanistan is witnessing a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified its offensive against Afghan forces and civilians with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away.
Due to rising violence in the country by the Taliban, the situation is deteriorating badly as the terror group has been looting people and killing civilians after capturing multiple areas from the government.
The Taliban escalated its offensive against the Afghan forces soon after the US forces started leaving Afghanistan in large numbers after the peace deal signed between Washington and the Taliban in February last year.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan government negotiators in Qatar have offered the Taliban a power-sharing deal in return for an end to fighting in the war-torn country, a government negotiating source told AFP.
“Yes, the government has submitted a proposal to Qatar as mediator. The proposal allows the Taliban to share power in return for a halt in violence in the country,” the source told AFP.
(With ANI inputs)
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