Kabul, 11 August 2021 (dpa/MIA) — Taliban militants overran the provincial capital of Afghanistan’s north-eastern province of Badakhshan, local officials confirmed on Wednesday.
The insurgent group captured Badakhshan’s Faizabad city around midnight (1930 GMT Tuesday) after more than a week of fighting, provincial councillor Ahmad Jawid Mujadidi and lawmaker Abdul Wali Niazi, who represents the province in the parliament, told dpa.
All high-ranking local officials and security forces stationed in the city have been able to retreat to the Warsaj district in the neighboring Takhar province where security forces from Taluqan, the capital of Takhar, had retreated three days ago, the officials added.
According to Niazi, the families of all pro-government forces have either escaped or are hiding following the collapse of the city.
With the collapse of Faizabad, a city with an estimated population of over 78,000, the Taliban now controls nine provincial capitals of the country’s 34 provinces.
All of these cities have been captured within less than a week. The city of Farah in the west and Pul-e Khumeri city in northern Baghlan province were captured hours before the collapse of Faizabad city.
Badakhshan is known for its gold and lapis lazuli mines. The province also shares a border with Tajikistan, Pakistan, and China.