Taliban fighters in Afghanistan enter second provincial capital in as many days

SKY News Online

The security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, as seen here following a car bomb in Kabul. Further north, the Taliban has entered the city of Sheberghan

Militants have taken advantage of the departure of foreign forces from the country, quickly taking control of vulnerable districts and now turning their attention to provincial capitals.

Taliban fighters have entered the capital of Afghanistan’s Jawzjan province, a politician has said, as they seek to capture their second provincial capital in as many days.

Mohammad Karim Jawzjani said the militants had reached the city of Sheberghan but the Afghan government, while not denying this, insisted the city had not yet fallen.

Sheberghan is particularly important because it is the stronghold of Uzbek warlord Rashid Dostum, whose militias were resurrected to help the Afghan government forces.

Mr Dostum, a former army paratrooper, returned to the province last week after months in Turkey, where he is believed to have been receiving medical treatment.

His spokesman Ehsan Nero told the AFP news agency that he was meeting senior officials to talk about security in Sheberghan.

Residents of the city said there had been heavy airstrikes and that the Taliban had freed prisoners from the jail.

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