The Taliban captured their second provincial capital in two days after capturing Shebergan in the northern Afghan province of Jawzjan on Saturday.
Provincial Councilor Bismillah Sahil and Deputy Governor Abdul Qadir confirm that the provincial capital has collapsed.
Sahil says the Taliban have seized key public buildings such as the governor’s office, police station and prison in the city.
Social media videos show prisoners escaping from prison with the help of Taliban militants. Both criminals and Taliban prisoners were allowed to leave.
However, government forces still have control over the airport, where they will be ready to defend themselves, Kadir said.
The Taliban have been on the offensive since the US and NATO began withdrawing in May, now occupying large parts of Afghanistan. On Friday, they took control of the capital, Georgia, in the province of Nimroz, which collapsed “without a fight,” the deputy governor said.
Dangerous warrior Abdul Rashid was highly resisted in Shepar Khan, where Dostum lived, but one of Dostum’s staff confirmed that the city had fallen.
Dostum led one of the largest militias in the North, which gained a terrible reputation in the fight against the Taliban and was accused of massacring thousands of prisoners.
If his forces are defeated by the Taliban, it will be a severe blow to the government’s hopes that the militants will be able to provide key support to the heavily pressured government forces.
Jubel and Grange
Some social media posts indicate that the Taliban are welcomed by some residents of the city of Jaranj, who have long been notorious for being illegal.
The videos show captured Hummies, luxury SUVs and pickups climbing down the main street with white Taliban flags, while local boys and men cheered.
Also in Jarang, one of the first things the Taliban did was to open a prison and release prisoners, both ordinary criminals and Taliban prisoners.
Social media also showed people looting public buildings that stole desks, office chairs, cupboards and televisions.
The Taliban already control large areas of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the capital of Helmand province.
Tens of thousands of people have fled as the Taliban besiege the country’s provincial capitals, including Lashkar-e-Kah, Kandahar and Herat.