Taliban close in on Kabul, seize Jalalabad

August 15, 2021 - 13:30

The Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan’s Jalalabad without a fight, according to officials and a resident, effectively leaving the capital, Kabul, as the last major urban area under government control, Al Jazeera reported.

The key eastern city, which is also the capital of Nangarhar province, fell early on Sunday morning. Its fall followed the Taliban’s seizure of Mazar-i-Sharif, a major northern city.

The armed group posted photos online on Sunday showing its members in the governor’s office in Jalalabad.

“We woke up this morning to the Taliban white flags all over the city,” said resident Ahmad Wali, confirming the Taliban’s social media claim. “They entered without fighting,” he told the AFP news agency.

Abrarullah Murad, a legislator from the province, told The Associated Press that the group seized Jalalabad after elders negotiated the fall of the government there.

Another Jalalabad-based Afghan official told Reuters there were no clashes in the city “because the governor has surrendered to the Taliban”.

“Allowing passage to the Taliban was the only way to save civilian lives,” the official added.

A Western security official also confirmed the fall of the city and said it put the Taliban in control of the roads connecting Afghanistan to Pakistan.

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